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The videogame magazine 

January 1999 
Issue 2 £2.70 



J* 0% ^% I Nell McAndrew 
|>C| I Half -Life 
IVV Zelda 64 

pages of Crash Bandicoot 3 
FIFA 99 

Michael Owen's WLS '99 
Buying your own coin-op 



"Lara's back and looking 
better than ever." 
PC Zone 

"Bigger, faster and more 
challenging than either of the 
previous games... the new 
Tomb Raider is the best of 
the lot." 
Ultimate PC 

"Tomb Raider III will be 
absolutely brilliant... might 
just be the best Raider yet." 
Official PlayStation Magazine 

"Lara Croft shoots for a Hat 
Trick and scores." 

"Tomb Raider III more than 
matches up to the previous 
efforts and could even turn out 
to be THE Tomb Raider." 
PlayStation Power 


lust get 
(ter and 


Lara is back in Tomb Raider III and she just 
gets better and better. 

Is it due to her new weapons and vehicles? 

Or the challenges she faces 
in new locations? 

It may be her new outfits and 
the moves she's learned? 

Perhaps it's just that she's more adventurous. 

There is only one way to find out... 

...Pick up a copy of Tomb Raider III 
and decide for yourself. 

Ilection of the exclusive 
LARA© clothing and merchandise 

brochure, call now on 01525 381808 
,or visit the website at: 


mSmmmmm. ' 





Issue two 



<*,</ I ' I ",'L 



"^i^ 3 



The all-time Arcade 
hero talks electric 
planes, rubber-keyed 
computers, and pulling 



Half -Life: 
i Hie lull story 

Behind the scenes of Valve 
Software's brand new PC first- 
person shooter. Get out of the 
way, Quake. Clear off, Unreal. 
I ^ Half-Life's coming through... 



We snowboard 
from the comfort 
of our living roo 
No damaged 
bones, just 
broken egos. 


0*5 South 


We look at the completed N64 
version, the upcoming PC and 
PlayStation models, and talk to the 
game's designer. Plus, South Park: 
A Beginner's Guide, and TV show 
creator Trey Parker speaks! 

A 21-pages on 99 of the very best games 
heading our way in the year to come. From 
Ridge Racer Type 4 to R-Type Delta, from Max 
Payne to Mystical Ninja 2, it's all here. 


W- ' : 

■.( : 

House of 

Ever fancied owning your very own coin-op? We have - and 
having seen just how incredibly cheap it can be, we're sorely 
tempted. Join us for an all-inclusive 10-page buyer's guide, 
including what to look for, what you should pay, and where 
to get 'em. Plus: three experts speak. 


12 pages designed to 
make you - yes, you! - 
better at games. We 
have a six-page guide 
to the new Crash 3. 
We have TOCA 2, NHL 
Blitz, Body Harvest, 
and Cool Boarders 3, 
plus many more. It's 
the gaming equivalent 
of a Charles Atlas 
muscle course! 

4 1 Arcade | January 1 1999 


The videogame magazine 

Editorial & Arcade magazine, 

advertising 30 Monmouth Street, Bath BA1 2BW 

Telephone 01225 442244 

Fax 01225 732275 (edit) 01225 732282 (ads) 

Cover Comedy Central/ Acclaim 



The current real-life Lara talks 

rubber knickers, damp patches, 

and generally shares herself. Sigh. 




A Review 

The Ultimate Game Buyer's Guide 

110 New PlayStation Games 

New releases: All Star Tennis, Apocalypse, 
Asteroids, Bust-A-Move 4, Constructor, Crash 
Bandicoot 3, Invasion, Knockout Kings '99, 
NBA Live '99, Psybadek, Small Soldiers, and 
four big name football games (including 
Actua Soccer 3, FIFA 99 and the fantastic new 
Michael Owen game) go head-to-head in our 
first ever Group Test. 
Import games: Xenogears on test. 
Platinum budget games: The Lost World 
heads the (very small scale) charge. 

124 New PC Games 

New releases: Carmageddon 2, Football 
World Manager, Gangsters, Grim Fandango, 
Half-Life, King's Quest: Masks of Eternity, 
Madden NFL 99, Microsoft Combat Flight Sim, 
Powerslide, Railroad Tycoon II, Shogo, Sin, Thief: 
The Dark Project, Trespasser, Wargasm. 
Budget games: Blood Omen: Legacy of 
Kain, Dark Reign, and UFO: Enemy Unknown, 
plus many, many more. 

138 New N64 Games 

New releases: Bust-A-Move 3, Extreme G 2 
The Legend ofZelda: Ocarina of Time, NBA 
Jam '99, Rakuga Kids, SCARS, South Park, 
V-Rally 64. WipEout 64 and more. 

150 Other Systems 

Coin-ops: Gauntlet Legends battles it out 

with Ocean Hunter. 

Game Boy. More Color games, including 

Mortal Kombat 4, NFL Blitz, Rampage World 

Tour and 7etns DX. 

Mac: Tomb Raider II arrives (yes, a year late). 

152 Internet 

The rights and tempting wrongs of MAME 
explored, plus the very best web sites and a 
fantastic Star Wars CD-ROM of the Month. 

154 Game Accessories 

More in the way of steering wheels, joysticks, 
light guns and multi-player adaptors, plus the 
latest PlayStation cheat cartridge on test. 

156 Entertainment Extra 

156 Films 

Enemy of the State, Meet Joe Black, 
The Seige and the quite remarkable 
What Dreams May Come. 

157 Video 

Sliding Doors, Big Lebowski to rent; 
Excess Baggage to buy. 

158 Books 

Great Xmas presents, in the form of 
007 and Rolling Stone picture books. 

159 Music 

New CDs from The Black Crowes, 
Black Star Liner, and South Park. 

160 Games & Gadgets 

Loads of great DJing stuff, and a board 
game about pirates. 

More than just game reviews.. 

12 Game On 

If it's happening in gaming, 
it's happening in here. This 
month: GoldenEye sweeps 
the BAFTAs, new Star Wars 
games, and (yes!) Thresh gets 
thrashed at Ouake II. 

16 Special Report 
The Best and 
Worst of 1998 

Join us for a complete end- 
of-term report on the year 
just gone. (It's A-plus for Sony 
of course, but how did the 
rest of the class do?) 

20 Coming Soon 

Games to keep an eye out 
for, including Kensei: Sacred 
Fist, Devil Dice, Max Power 
Racing and 7bta/ Annihilation: 
Kingdoms. This is a specially 
truncated version of Coming 
Soon, to make room for our 
1999 Preview Special. 

26 Games Insider 

Our gaming experts reunite: 
from San Francisco, Tokyo 
and (er) Bath they come. But 
they all know exactly what 
they think - and aren't afraid 
to share it either. 

28 Virtual Fox 

She might be called Daisy, but 
she ain't no shrinking violet. 
Body Harvest's hottest dye- 
haired alien-basher does the 
whole centre-fold thing. 


6 Rants & Rates 
58 Arcade Charts 
146 Subscribe! 
163 A-List 
174 Time Warp 
176 Next Issue 
178 Great Gaming 


January] 1 999 | Arcade 1 5 


Out with 
the old... 


Malt Bieiby, 


Helcome to the second issue of 
Arcade - and our very first 
giant-sized preview of an 
entire year's worth of games. 
1999 is already shaping up to be very 
exciting indeed: there's the European 
launch of Dreamcast (and all the great 
software that'll come with it); there's 
Game Boy Color coming up to speed; 
there's news of PlayStation 2 on its way; 
and, of course, a whole raft of incredibly 
promising games coming for every 
system and across every genre. It's 
these that "99 for '99", our 21-page 
megapreview starting on page 74, 
concentrates on. If this doesn't get you 
itching to spend your Christmas money, 
I don't know what will. 

But you don't have to wait until 1999 for 
great new games. After all, there'll be few next 
or any year to match the likes of The Legend of 
Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Shigeru Miyamoto's 
latest, and many argue greatest, ground-breaker 

- on N64, or the stunning new first-person PC 
shooter Half-Life. Both are reviewed this issue, 
while we also look at the making of Half-Life on 
page 63 (Zelda, you may remember, was covered 
last issue). 

On a slightly sadder note (for me, anyway), 
this is my last issue on Arcade. I've got a number 
of other projects lined up for '99 (things that may 
well see me spending some time in Japan and 
Germany, which I'm looking forward to), but I 
doubt that they'll quite make up for not being 
part of this magazine during the most exciting 
period of its life, its first year. For Arcade, this is 
the very beginning - at time of writing, we don't 
even have a proper handle on how many copies 
we sold of issue 1 - but the response so far, from 
gamers, from the games industry, from everyone, 
has been phenomenal. Thanks to everyone 
who's written in - it's very much appreciated. 

Happily, I'm leaving the magazine in good 
hands. Neil West will be completely running the 
show from next issue, and he's got exciting plans 

- I've seen some of the stuff he's got lined up 
for the months to come, and it's all top-notch. 
I hope you'll stick around. As a reader, I 
know I will. 


Matt Bieiby 

Outgoing Editor-in-Chief 

Letters entertain you! Or so it would seem; weVe 
received enough of them. Looks like its time to turn 
the magazine over to you lot... 

hanks for all the positive feedback from Arcade 1. At 

the end of the day we made this magazine for you, 

the readers, and so it's great to hear that so many of 

you bought it - and like it. It's good to know that 

you're a demanding lot, too. Mixed in with all the 
letters of praise, there've been plenty that have taken us to task 
for all and sundry, just like there should be. Are we biased against 
Sega? (We don't think so, but some of you do.) What's our policy 
on covering PlayStation 2? And just who is Arcade aimed at? All 
these questions and more are touched on over the next three 
pages. We don't always claim to have come up with the definitive 
answers to them all, but it's nice that we've got the debate going 
already. In the meantime, if you've got something to say, be sure 
to drop us a line. Our address is at the bottom of the page. 


Coin-op Classics 

The main point of this letter is about 
MAME, which as you lot will know 
stands for Multi Arcade Machine 
Emulator. It's a program that you can 
download from the Internet which 
enables your PC to mimic the hardware 
of most old coin-ops. Using it, you can 
play "arcade-perfect" versions of old 
classics at home, for free, using the 
original code. 

My problem is this: I'm really 
annoyed with the likes of Taito and 
Namco, and the way they've been 
getting mega-cheesed off at the 
people who set up MAME internet 
sites packed with old coin-op ROMs. 
They've even had a lot of them shut 
down, which I think is a bit stupid, 
really. I mean, how much money can 
the developers or publishers be making 
off crap like Pac-Man these days? After all, those Namco retro packs for the 
PlayStation usually bomb, because hardly anyone is going to pay £40 to play old 
arcade games any more (and it's not as if they put any of the good ones on 
those CDs anyway). So why don't they just turn a blind eye and let these sites 
continue? Without them, their games would pretty much bomb into obscurity; 
with them, they're kept alive for further generations to play. 
Frank Wheatman, Edinburgh 

■ Tell us what you think! 

Rants & Raves, 


Future Publishing, 

30 Monmouth Street, 

Bath BA1 2BW 

Fax us on: 01225 732275 
E-mail us at: arcade.mag@ 

The writer of the best 

letter each month receives 

an exclusive Arcade T-shirt. 

Here's what 

they look like, 

as modelled 

by our very 





I Pac-Man: well, would you pay for it? 

*ik. -r% 


You make the case for MAME well. It's a complicated issue, and our gut reaction 
is to agree - but there's no denying that companies such as Taito and Namco 
should have the right to decide what happens to their own games. MAME is 
discussed twice in this issue, in the "House of Games" feature on page 48, 
and in the Internet column on 152. 



6 1 Arcade | January 1 1999 



The NFL Quarterback Club is a trademark of the National Foolball League. Team names, nicknames, logos and other indicia are trademarks of the teams indicated.™/© 1998 HFLP. The PLAYERS INC logo is a registered trademark ol the National Football League Players. Officially licensed product of the 
NFL Players Alt Rights Reserved. The NBA and individual NBA Team identifications used on or in this product are trademarks, copyrighted designs and other forms of intellectual property of NBA Properties. Inc. and the respective member Teams and may not he used, in whole or in part, without the prior 
written consent of NBA Properties, Inc. © 1 998 NSA Properties. Inc. All rights reserved. NHL BREAKAWAY is a trademark of the National Hockey League. NHL. National Hockey League, the NHL Shield and the Stanley Cup are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks 
and team logos and marks depicted herein are the properly of the NHL and the respective teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises. L.P. © 1998 NHL Officially Licensed Product of the National Hockey League. National Hockey League Players' Association. 
NHLPA and NHLPA logo are trademarks of the NHLPA and are used, under license, by Acclaim Entertainment. Inc. © NHLPA. Officially licensed product of the NHLPA. All other trademarks are trademarks of Acclaim Entertainment. Inc. ™ ® £ © 199B Acclaim Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved. 
Worid Wrestling Federation and its logos are trademarks of Titan Sports. Inc. © 1998 Titan Sports, Inc. All righls reserved. Nintendo 64, Game boy and the 3-0 T logo are trademarks of Nintendo of America Inc. © 1996 Nintendo of America Inc. PlayStation and the PlayStation logo are registered trademarks 
of Sony Computer Entertainment inc. Acclaim is a division and registered trademark of Acclaim Entertainment. Inc. © and © 1998 Acclaim Entertainment. Inc. All rights reserved. 




Rants Raves 

■ I just thought I'd 
drop you a line to let 
you all know how 
much I like the new 
mag. I particularly 
enjoyed the feature 
on what games were 
about in 1984 and 
the Q&A piece on 
Matthew Smith. 
Hopefully this will 
become a regular for 
all your older readers. 
I'd be interested to 
know what happened 
to Eugene Evans of 

Noel Wallace, East 

■ Great magazine - 
good to see all you ex- 
YS peeps aren't on the 
streets. And good to 
have a magazine that 
finally takes retro 
seriously. I've added a 
mention of the mag 
to my news page, 
which, ooh, should be 
worth at least two 
extra sales. Hurrah. 
Mat Simpson, via 

■ I want to write and 
apologise to Nell 
McAndrew, the Lara 
Croft model, through 
your magazine. I met 
her at a Tomb Raider 
promotion at KMS in 
Huntingdon. I was 
getting her autograph 
and I accidentally held 
her hand. It was a 
mistake! Sorry, Nell! 
Daniel Grifton, 

■ Just thought you'd 
like to know that in 
your list of "Ten Sports 
Sims That You'll Never 
See" (Arcade 1, page 
57) you say that the 
fine, manly sport 

of caber tossing has 
never actually been 
represented in a 
videogame. However, 
I recall spending hours 
and hours fruitlessly 
trying to beat the 
world-record Caber 
Toss on my old 
Commodore 64 
version of ENIX's 
excellent World 
Games. It was great, 
featuring such other 
off-beat sports as 
Sumo Wrestling 
and Kendo. 
Grant Gilmour, 

■ Sega's Dreamcast: we can't wait 
for it. No, honestly, we really can't. 

Sega bias? 

I read with interest your views on Sega's 
Dreamcast in Arcade 1, and feel it may 
be somewhat premature to judge the 
performance of the system until it enters 
it's second generation of software. I am 
expecting delivery of my import machine in 
two weeks, and I'm confident that I won't 
be disappointed! 

Publications such as yours should be 
supporting the system because, as you have 
rightly pointed out, Sega has contributed 
much to the industry and still has a lot to 
offer. Also, it would be healthy to have a 
strong Dreamcast as competition to the 
existing machines. After all, healthy 
competition tends to encourage great 
software, as developers for rival systems 
strive to outdo each other. Remember 
when the Mega Drive and SNES were 
battling it out on an even playing field? We 
saw some great games because of that. 
David Anderson, via e-mail 

I know this is only my personal view, but I 
found the coverage surrounding Dreamcast 
in your first issue somewhat unbalanced. 
Luckily for me, I have already seen and 
played Sonic Adventure myself, and to say 
that parts of the game look not too far 
removed from top PlayStation and N64 
titles is plainly incorrect. Also, statements to 
the effect that Dreamcast is not the leap 
forward in gaming that previous machines 
were seems a bit premature at this point, 
seeing as it's yet to be released! Besides, 
titles such as Sonic are first-wave titles and 
graphically the games will improve with 
time, as titles on the PlayStation have. 
John Bright, via e-mail 

I was deeply disappointed with the barely- 
disguised anti-Sega tone of your magazine. 
You ignore the Saturn almost completely, 
even though both the console and its 
games are still available. You fail to mention 
Saturn versions of games such as Resident 
Evil or Tomb Raider. And by ignoring the 
widespread and healthy second hand trade 
in consoles and games gave a misleading 
idea of which consoles offer the best value. 

Coverage of Dreamcast was similarly 
skewed. Few consoles are launched with 
their best games, as PlayStation and 
Saturn showed. The Dreamcast games 
you commented on are not in their finished 
states, but merely demos. And you claim 
that Dreamcast is not the great leap 
forward that you expected, but what 
were you expecting exactly? The question 
is, where do we go from here? Especially 
as PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast will be 
technologically almost identical. 

Besides, it's not great games that sell 
consoles, it's great marketing. After all, out 
of the PlayStation, Saturn and N64, there 
are probably around ten really great games 
for each system. And there's no doubt that 
the most original games are on Saturn and 
N64. 1 own all three of these consoles, and 
it is only when you have access to more 

than one machine that you can break 
the slavish corporate loyalty that these 
hardware companies try to foster. 
Craig Smith, Bristol 

Arcade has no bias against Sega. We 
reviewed just one Sega game in Arcade 1 
(SpikeOui a coin-op) and gave it five stars. 
We said, "Sega's AM2 coin-op division is 
the best in the world... no one - not even 
Namco - comes close." As for Dreamcast, 
we called it like we see it. It's a great new 
system ("it is good, very good", wrote Neil 
West), but from what we've seen so far it's 
not the same guantum leap forward that 
PlayStation, Nintendo 64 or the Super NES 
were. Yes, of course the games will improve 
over time. But time isn't something Sega 
has a lot of. If you believe that Dreamcast 
will be technologically comparable to 
PlayStation 2 then you're fooling yourself. 
Sega has just a year - maybe only 18 
months - to make it big with Dreamcast 
before Sony's new machine arrives. And 
no, we haven't seen it, but you'd have to 
be very naive to bet against Sony making 
it a winner. 

To address the other points raised, sure 
- rarely do systems launch with their best 
games. Oh, except Nintendo 64, of course. 
And yes, the games shown at TG5 were 
demos. But with launch only six weeks 
away, they won't improve dramatically This 
said, in the case of Sonic Adventure, we 
acknowledged that the game wasn't 
finished and credited Yuji Naka's Sonic 
Team with, "having pulled off some pretty 
impressive feats in the past". We want 
Dreamcast to succeed. You're right, healthy 
competition is good for everyone. 

Craig, you contradict yourself at the last 
minute. You can't seriously claim that Saturn 
matches PlayStation in terms ofguality 
games! And as for exactly what we want 
from a next generation system? There's no 
exact answer. It's a bit like pornography - 
it's hard to define exactly what it is. But you 
know it when you see it. 

■ Jonathan Davies: still writing, still 
the most dryly funny man alive. 

Games Night 

Well done, you lot. It's like the best bits of 
Your Sinclair, N64 Magazine and SEX rolled 
into one. Hurrah, etc. The Games Night 
feature is excellent - so excellent that I 
didn't let the fact that your consoles didn't 
have any power leads attached to them 
ruin the illusion for me! State of Play was 
also great. By the way, what contribution 
did Jonathan Davies make? I've been 
wanting to know what he's been doing 
since leaving N64 Magazine. 
John Starkey, via e-mail 

Jonathan wrote the excellent feature on 
Zelda: Ocarina of Time. He'll be writing 
plenty more for us in the future - and 
hopefully next time he'll get a credit! 


Trie VkJeocjame Magazne 

Issue two 

Editorial Arcade 

Future Publishing 
30 Monmouth St 
Bath BA1 2BW 
Tel 01225 442244 
Fax 01225 732275 

Editor-in-Chief Matt Bielby 

Editor Neil West 
Reviews Editor Robin Alway 
Staff Writers Mark Green 
Rich Pelley 
Sam Richards 
Operations Editor Emma Parkinson 
Group Art Director Matt Williams 
Art Editor Nick Moyle 
Designer Alvin Weetman 

Editorial Contributors: James Ashton, Cam Anderson, 
Sue Bartucca, Alex Bickham, Jes Bickham, David Bradley, 
Jason Brookes, Lindsay Bruce, Tim Cant Jim Chandler, 
Simon Cox, Chas Davies, Jonathan Davies, Russell Deeks, 
Ben East Simon Gamer, Mike Goldsmith, Daniel Griffiths, 
Dr Mark Griffiths, Will Groves, Neil Jackson, Chris James, 
Simon Kirrane, Martin Kitts, Miriam McDonald, Paul 
Marland, Paul Pettengale, Matthew Pierce, Stephen 
Pierce, James Price, Mark Ramshaw, Julian Rignall, Dave 
Roberts, Jonathan Smith, Michael Szymanski, Alex 
Tanner, Arron Taylor, Travis, Tim Weaver, Glen Weston, 
Jason Weston 

Photography: Shaun Bloodworth, Rob Scott Rick 
Buetner, Justin Scoby, Simon Dobb, Gavin Roberts 

Illustration: Matt Kenyon 

Thanks: Aqualeisure, Bath, for loan of snowboard gear 

Advertising Manager Anne Green 
Deputy Ad Manager Phil Bruderer 
Tel 01225 442244 
Fax 01225 732282 
Business Development Paul Lanzarotti 

Laurence Robertson 
Tel 0171 447 3300 

Future Publishing Executive Staff 

Publishing Director Jane Ingham 
Circulation Director Sue Hartley 
Operations Director Judith Green 
Chief Executive Greg Ingham 
Non-executive Chairman Chris Anderson 

Operations Staff 

Pre-Press Services Manager Martin Smith 
Scanning & Imagesetting Simon Windsor 
Mark Glover 
Matt Rogers 
Senior Prod Co-ordinator Lisa Read 
Print Services Manager Matthew Parker 
Print Services Co-ordinator Mark Constance 
Production Administrator Fiona Deane 
Circulation Pete Walker 

Subscriptions & Future Publishing Ltd 

Customer Services FREEPOST BS4900 
Somerset TA11 6BR 

Tel (subscriptions) 01458 271131 
Tel (customer services) 01225 822510 

Overseas Licensing Enquiries Chris Power 

Tel +44 (0) 1225 442244 
Fax +44 (0) 1225 732384 

Special thanks to EDGE 
GamesMaster Next Generation 
PC Gamer PlayStation Power 
Official PlayStation N64 Magazine 

All contributions are submitted and accepted on the basis of a 
non-exdusive worldwide license to publish, or license others to do so, 
unless otherwise agreed in advance in writing. 

UK and overseas newsstand distribution: 
Future Publishing Ltd - 01225 442244 
Printed in the UK. 

All materia! 6 Future Publishing 1998 

Next issue on sale 13 January 

8 1 Arcade | January | 1999 


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If you want to get clean away with something really worthwhile, head down to Virgin Megastores. Just collect the stickers that 
prove you've bought five full-price (£39.99 or more) PlayStation games between now and 31st October 1999 and you'll get 
a sixth for free! Pop out to your local store and get your hands on a Cheat card today. 


Offer available 05/10/98 - 31/10/99 on selected titles. See in-store leaflet for full terms and conditions. 



■ We need to know what 
you like and don't like in 
the mag. Please fill out 
this form (or simply copy it 
on to a bit of paper) when 
you write to Arcade. 

The best bits this issue: 

Best of British 

Living here in England, as I do, and being 
quite accustomed to companies such as 
Psygnosis, Codemasters, DMA Design and 
Bullfrog coming out with stunning and 
often highly original games with each 
offering, I allow myself to believe that we 
here in Britain have more than our fair 
share of the world's finest games designers. 
America and Europe needn't even exist as 
far as my games collection goes. 

Of course, I could never be so bold as to 
say that we are ranked higher than Japan in 
these stakes, but I frequently think we are a 
good second. But how close to the truth 
am I? Few magazines give any indication as 
to the country of origin of games, so I rarely 
know if the really cool looking game I am 
reading about is of Scottish descent, or 
whether it comes from Papua New Guinea. 

So I turn to you to put me right. In 
your first issue you said that the top ten 
designers included four Japanese guys, four 
Americans and two British folks ("Move 
over, Quentinl", Arcade 1, page 95). But I 
don't think I'd quite go along with that. I'd 
probably place Peter Molyneux and David 
Jones higher up in the list. Perhaps to shut 
me up once and for all you could have a 
longer feature analysing which are the best 
games making countries in the world. 
"Focus", Birmingham 

Britain boasts some of the world's best 
game designers, absolutely. We'll be 
running a more comprehensive gaming 
"who's who" in a later issue. 

PlayStation 2 

I've just picked up a copy of Arcade, and it's 
excellent, fab, brill. With so many game 
magazines on the shelves, it's nice to see 
something new to keep people's interest 
going. One request - please try and keep 
us up to date with all PlayStation 2 news. 
Simon Thackray, Leeds 

I liked the first issue, but I do have a little 
niggle. Your contributors. You bang on 
about PlayStation 2 all the bloody time. It's 
not happening. It's not big, and it certainly 
ain't funny. Even Official PlayStation 
Magazine (the first who, as I can see, would 
wish to frighten other companies with, 
"We'll get you big next Christmas, when we 
launch THIS...") admits that these are just 
unfounded rumours. In an interview, even 
Ken Kutaragi - the inventor of PlayStation 
himself - says no. He say (in best tribal 
accent), "No PSX2 in mind. None in brain 
box. PSX Mk1 doing fine." He is in no way 
planning, let alone already designing a 
PSX2. He said it. Not me, him. 
Matt Howes, via e-mail 

Of course 

PlayStation 2 is 

happening. It's 

in Sony's best 

interests, however, 

to keep talk of it as 

low-key as possible - 

after all, the company 

is still trying to sell 

as many original 

PlayStations as possible. 

That's why good, solid 

PlayStation 2 news is still 

pretty thin on the ground, though we'll 

round-up the story so far next issue. 


At last, I thought, a magazine that covers 
the Game Boy! I have an old, well-thumbed 

■ Moon Patrol: one of the first, fairly 
"uninspiring" Game Boy Color releases. 

copy of Total! which has a two page 
summary of Game Boy offerings, but there 
have been many new releases since that 
magazine folded, and hardly anywhere to 
read about them. I enjoyed your review 
of the new Game Boy Color, and I can't 
wait to get hold of one, but where's the 
software? I'll pass on the four uninspiring 
games you covered in your first issue - 
I'd like to know if there's any good new 
software coming out. Keep up the good 
work, but please review more Game Boy 
titles, and put a lot more in your A-List 
too, please! 
Kevin Porter, via e-mail 

Bite-sized chunks 

Well done on creating a truly entertaining 
and enjoyable first issue of Arcade. I must 
admit, with the current plethora of gaming 
mags around I approached Arcade with 
some hesitation, but I'm pleased to say I 
was very pleasantly surprised. You seem to 
be aiming the magazine at a slightly older 
age range than most (I'm 35, so I guess I 
really do qualify), and the features and 
standard of writing reflect this, as does the 
excellent graphic design throughout. How 
the hell did you manage to cram so much 
into the magazine? I can only hope this is 
an aspiration you have for all future issues: 
I generally read my magazines in bite-size 
chunks and it's gratifying to know that 
Arcade currently represents a full month 
of snacking. 
Phil Ford, South London 

We're not aiming for an older audience per 
se, but rather for all gamers who want to 
be neither patronised nor bamboozled with 
technical irrelevancies. We hope to have the 
first word on the new stuff, the last word 
on the old and - perhaps above all - to 
remain a damn good read. 

Britannic verses 

First, let me congratulate you 
on a very original, full and 
excellent value magazine. 
I was very surprised to 
read about the reaction 
your imaginary game 
Britannia Rules got 
from the games 
industry ("Smack 
my pitch up", 
Arcade 1, page 17). I 
must admit, I thought it was a 
great idea and was looking forward to 
you telling me that it was in development! 
As a long-time strategy fan and British by 
bith, English by the grace of God, this is just 
the sort of game that appeals to me... 
Terry Osborne, Portsmouth 

This letter went downhill guickly 
from this point. 



Amongst the sorry buich 
of reprobates responsible 
for Arcade this month... 

Robri Ah/vay 

Thinking we might need a 
female influence to prevent 
our regular Games Night outing 
from degenerating into the 
petty squabbling that brought 
the last feature to a premature 
(and messy) dose, Robin was 
persuaded to bring his other 
half, Andrea, to the party this time round. "She's quite 
good at games, so I wasn't sure I wanted her along," he 
now admits. 'After all, Rich in particular would have made 
my life hell if she'd beaten me at anything." And did she? 
"I'm not saying. If she did, I've conveniently forgotten. She's 
disturbingly good at 1080°." In the corner. Rich Pelley 
sniggers to himself, quietly. 

Game of the moment: Zelda 64 on N64: "I'm generally 
scared of horses, so I'm loving the horsey bits in Ocarina of 
Time. All the excitement, none of the fear." 

Sam Richards 

This month, staff writer Sam's 
been struggling with the giant 
"99 for '99" preview feature - 
a nightmare of information 
gathering, picture taking, and 
trying to pick which of the 
great games coming our way 
over the next 12 months get a 
mention, and which ones don't. "I'm incredibly impressed 
by what little I've seen of Rare's line-up for '99," he 
confesses, "and Galleon looks incredibly promising too, but 
it's Dreamcast that's really got me going. Some people are 
already sounding a little non-plussed by it all, which seems 
ridiculous to me. I mean, if only for the return of Sonic, 
Dreamcast has to be a good thing. I reckon gaming's been 
a lot poorer for him being away." 
Game of the moment: NBA Live '99 on PlayStation: 
"It's a classy sport sim - and I don't even like basketball." 

^^ 1 SrnonKnane 

JT^|b Last month Simon ran our 

H inaugural Games Night This 

jW month, he's kept with the 

^^ i gaming-in-the-living-room 

t . Hi theme by investigating the 

\^- ^m possibilities of bringing a 

^ genuine arcade machine 

home with you. Turns out it's 
a lot cheaper, and more practical, than he'd ever thought 
possible. "I'm really tempted myself," he says. "I reckon I can 
afford £300, maybe £350, and for that something like a 
Streef Fighter II machine might be on the cards. The only 
problem is, I've recently moved and don't know where to 
put the damn thing. Plus, the girlfriend wouldn't be happy. 
But I'm working on her." 

Game of the moment: Tenchu on PlayStation: "It's not 
really long enough, but it's got all that sneaking about 
stuff, making it like a preview of Metal Gear Solid." 


Nick is Arcade's art editor, 
responsible for the lovely- 
looking pages you're holding 
in your hands. He comes to 
us from our sister mag Total 
Football, and describes the 
differences between the 
two magazines thus: "It's 
great working with some of the really detailed, rendered 
artwork we get here on Arcade - it's much easier to make 
a beautiful illustration look nice than some out-of-focus 
shot of a GM Vauxhall Conference player. And I've really 
enjoyed things like the coin-op feature this month. That 
said, thinking of something interesting to do with yet 
another picture of a dull, grey PlayStation can be a bit 
of a challenge." 

Game of the moment: ISS '98 on PlayStation: "I average 
a little bit less than a goal a game, but I still think it's the 
best football sim by far." 

10 | Arcade | January 1 1999 

■ ■ 





information hotline 01543 302235 


Nobody does it better 

GoldenEye wins "Best Game" BAFTA | Statuette "astonishingly heavy" 

By Sam Richards 

Early on in 1998, 
BAFTA (the British 
Academy of Film 
and Television 
Arts) announced 
that it would be welcoming 
videogames and the other 
forms of interactive 
entertainment into its 
fold. This was, of course, 
good news. It was another 
step towards mainstream 
legitimacy for videogames. 
It meant the London-based 
luvvies who infest Britain's 
arts media wouldn't be able 
to turn their noses up - at 
least, not quite so high - at 
our "low brow" medium. 

Perhaps more importantly, 
it meant a slap-up awards 
dinner with tuxedos and 
free wine for the movers 
and shakers of the UK 
games scene. Somehow, 
Arcade's Neil West and Sam 
Richards also got to go. 

On Thursday, 29 October 1998, 
London's Intercontinental Hotel 
held the inaugural BAFTA 
Interactive Entertainment Awards 
dinner. Hosted by Stephen "as 
smooth as a freshly buttered 
chorister" Fry, and with Lord 
Puttnam handing out the trophies, 
the gaming world waited to see 
who would walk away with the 
glory. For "Best Game" category, 
the nominations were GT 
Interactive's Abe's Oddysee, 
Frontier Development's V2000 

and Rare's GoldenEye 007. As 
part of the judging committee - 
alongside other gaming luminaries 
including Populous creator Peter 
Molyneux and representatives 
from DMA Design, Red Dog 
Games, and Sub Culture maker 
Criterion Software - Neil sat with 
a knowing smile on his face as the 
winner was announced. But then, 
to be honest, no one was too 
surprised when GoldenEye 007 
was announced as the big champ. 

Its developer, Rare, also won the 
"Best British Developer" award, 
so bosses Tim and Chris Stamper 
now have a dinky little gold mask 
each. Watch out for them next 
Hallowe'en. ("We done won 
some more!" chummily brags 
Rare's Web site at http://www And few would argue 
that they deserved it.) 

Of course, two awards do not 
an entire evening make, and the 
rest of the night was taken up 


Hosts were Stephen 
"as smooth as a 
buttered chorister" 
Fry and Lord Puttnam 

with recognition for assorted 
interactive CD-ROMs, Web sites 
and similar, none of which need 
concern us here. The general 
consensus afterwards was that, 
though BAFTA recognition is 
obviously A Very Good Thing, 
future ceremonies will have to 
offer up rather more game related 
categories than a near-solitary 
two. Certainly, when you compare 
the importance of games over 
CD-ROMs in any terms you care 
to mention - sales, say, or 
technical ability displayed - 
further recognition is needed. 

Still, it was a good start. And 
the prawn with avocado Jk 
appertisers were divine. *** 

12 1 Arcade | January 1 1 999 

Star Wars: big 
film, big game 

Lucas Arts confirms ''new games" | Film frenzy 

Sam Richards' 
World of Games 

By Neil West 

1999 will, of course, be the 
year of Star Wars. Episode One: 
The Phantom Menace opens in 
the US on May 21st, with the 
UK release following in June. 
Anticipation is already reaching 
frenzied levels. When the film's 
trailer was first screened in the 
US on 20 November, cinemas 
were sold out countrywide - 
with many leaving before the 
main feature started! Similarly, 
the Internet ground to a halt 

when postings of videotaped 
recordings of the two minute 
teaser prompted a download 
frenzy. Things have calmed a 
tad since: catch it for yourself 

And with the film will come 
games. PlayStation, N64 and PC 
titles based on Episode One are 
currently in development, with 
LucasArts remaining typically 
tight-lipped about content, 
even refusing to comment on 
whether or not Nintendo has 
an exclusive arrangement to 
release its N64 version ahead 

of other 
systems, as 
has been 
reported. More will 
be learned in February. 
Meanwhile, Rogue 
Squadron for PC and N64 
is released in January (it's 
a shooter set in the time 
between The Empire Strikes 
Back and Return of the Jedi). 
Then in the summer comes X- 
wing Alliance for the PC (see 
page 92). May the force...' no 
sorry. I really can't bring M 
myself to say it. *• 

^*i^fc~" "^^P"*" 

i rY\ :>. : ,y.\ :' i =■«.=.-,-,»• i 

"It's gratifying to hear that 
people enjoyed the trailer," 
says George Lucas. "You never 
really know what reaction 
you'll get." Yeah, right. 

Now they're 
calling it 
PlayStation 2000 

■ With Sony still coming on 
all unforthcoming with news 
of PlayStation 2, conjecture 
regarding what it will be 
like and when we'll see it 

is spreading like wildfire, 
fuelled by more leaks than 
a St David's Day parade. 
PlayStation 2000 is the latest 
- though, we feel, unlikely - 
guess at the machine's final 
title, suggesting that we 
won't see the thing until the 
millennium year. Supposedly, 
a number of Japanese 
developers have already 
received basic hardware in 
order to begin software 
creation. "The funny things is, 
Sega don't know just how 
stuffed they are," is one 
comment filtered back to 
Arcade. We'll have more on 
PlayStation 2000 next issue. 

Boycott stumped 

■ Following the recent Geoff 
Boycott court case, and his 
conviction for beating his 
ex-lover, Sony has retired 
from its association with the 
famous Yorkshire cricketer. 
The company is developing a 
game that was to be called - 
appropriated enough - Geoff 
Boycott's Hit For Six, but has 
understandably canned the 
endorsement (rumours that 
it's keeping the name aside 
for a new series of fighting 
games are unsubstantiated). 

Fans of Boycott's no- 
nonsense commentary will 
still be able to hear him in 
Codemasters' firian Lara 
Cricket, however. 

The multi-event 
sports sim is back! 

■ UK developer Attention To 
Detail - responsible for the 
excellent forthcoming race 
game Rollcage - is set to 
return us to the halcyon 
days of Daley Thompson's 
Decathlon with the creation 
of an all-formats release to 
tie-in with the Sydney 2000 
Olympic Games. The whole 
gamut of sporting disciplines 
is to be represented - from 
shot putt to hurdles - each 
with its own distinctive 
gameplay. Whether or not 
the winning technique for 
each event will be more than 
frantic joypad "waggling" or 
frenzied button "mashing" 
remains to be seen. 



Immortal makes reigning champ 
"his bitch" | Then gets annihilated 

By Neil West 

The US Professional 
Gamer's League 
drew to an end 
in late November, 
with champion 
Dennis "Thresh" Fong once 
again winning the final. His 
victory wasn't without 
controversy, however, as in 
one of the early rounds he 
was soundly whipped 10 to 

I by "Immortal" after a 20 
minute game on the Quake 

II map "Frag Pipe". He was 
thus forced to play his way 
through the "Best Losers" 

round to continue in the 
tournament, but went on 
to successfully defend 
his crown, annihilating 
Immortal 8 to 3, then 43 to 
to win. Convincing stuff. 

But it's his earlier loss that 
everyone's talking about. 

A step-by-step anatomy of 
the smack-down is shown below. 
Essentially, he was out-played by 
an opponent who knew the level 
inside-out and was merciless in 
tracking down his foe. Switching 
between the Railgun, Rocket 
Launcher and Super Shotgun, 
Immortal continuously guarded 
the Yellow Armour areas, making 
sure Thresh had very little chance 

to get into the game. 

The early action revealed a 
seemingly nervous Thresh, who - 
after going behind by a few frags 
- missed some important jumps 
and became holed-up in the 
level's dead-end areas. Immortal 
nearly lost his cool after somehow 
managing to fall into the lava on 
a number of occasions, bringing 
the score back to a tie. Yet the 
challenger's persistence with 
containing tactics and, later, his 
superb accuracy with the difficult- 
to-use Railgun, saw him dominate 
the game's last five minutes. 
Thresh's final humiliation was 
losing a couple of frags by 
accidentally blowing himself 
up with the Rocket Launcher. 

Immortal became one of the 
few people ever to have beaten 
Thresh at his own game - but 
his victory was short lived. "If 
someone uses a good move on 
me I'll be one step ahead next 
time he tries it on," Thresh told 
Arcade last month. It seems m. 
he wasn't joking. E*^L 

Smack my Arcade tests the limits of industry 
pitch UD patience with "creative" game ideas 

No. 2 Theme Lighthouse 

■ The pitch: Take 
control of an isolated 
lighthouse in one of 
a range of lovingly- 
simulated locations 
(including Rockall, 
Shetland and Land's 
End) and make 
important real-time 
decisions. Use the 
controls to turn your 
main light on or off, 
warning ships of the 
dangerous rocks 
ahead. If they crash, 
you could be in 
trouble! You 
lose points 
for lost 
lost lives and 
for causing oil 
slicks. Insider 
tip: keep an e> 

on your window at 
all times. A picture 
of a seagull means 
it's day time, a black 
screen means it's 
night. Use this crucial 
information to guide 
your decisions. All 
the action takes 
place in real time, 
so there's plenty 
of long-term play. 
Controls: A, light on. 
B, light off. C, change 

■ The response: 

"Actually, I quite like 
it. You could tie-in a 
great licensing deal 
with a wool supplier 
and introduce a 
"Learn To Knit" 
option during quiet 
points in the game. 
Then, in the stunning 
"Beardview" 3D 
bonus level, you 
could try staggering 
up the 200-step 
spiral staircase 
while drunk. I think 
it would sell - after 
all, fishing does." 
David Perry, Shiny 

m Next 
month: More 
pitches gets slapped. 


Start me up 
before you go go 

Crazy on-line racing? Murray Walker wouldn't like it 

By Sam Richards 

The next on-line 
gaming craze 
starts right here, 
as you build your 
own virtual "Battle 
Dolls" from parts including 
torso, legs, tail and various 
weapons, then race against 
other Internet participants in 
Wet Net Go Go Grand Prix. 

Yes, it's ridiculous, yes, it's 
Japanese, and yes, it looks 
like great fun. 

Race meets are held once a 
day, while the courses are 
changed weekly. You only 
need an Internet browser to 
play, the madness taking 
place at Currently the 
site's in Japanese only, but an 
English-language version is 
promised soon. 

jj^, iver/wrr ooeoesfAKD p» x $fe 

"I wasn't in 
good form 

■ It's not every day that 
Thresh loses. He's won over 
5100,000 in prize money and 
a Ferrari as the world's best 
Quake player. So what 
happened this time? Over 
to the man himself... 

"That first game versus 
Immortal, I was a little bit out 
of it." Yeah, why? "Having 
launched my new website a 
few days earlier, I was busy 
with that and didn't get a 
chance to prepare as much 
as I would have liked to for 
the tourney. In addition, I got 
lucky and drew - randomly 
- a bye for the first round, 
which I didn't want." Why 
not? Surely getting a bye is a 

bonus? "You'd think that, but 
it meant that my first match 
of the tourney was a tough 
one against Immortal, and I 
had no chance to get into the 
tourney mindset." 

OK, so what happened 
when you faced him? "He 
played an awesome game, 
but I wasn't playing in good 
form." And then, in the 
finals? "The second time 
around, I was prepared. I 
practiced a lot the nights 
leading up to the finals, and 
when the time came around, 
I was mentally ready." 

Inspiring stuff. Thresh's 
website is at (http://www. 
firingsquad. com/). 

1 [All pictures from Thresh's 
position.] Thresh got off to a 
reasonable start, exchanging 
early frags with Immortal with 
the Rocket Launcher, 

2 It was neck and neck for 
almost ten minutes, Immortal 
keeping himself in the game 
with good use of the Railgun. 
Stalemate so far. 

3 Much of the early game 
was played out in the high, 
open area as both players 
jockeyed for position with 
tentative Railgun shots. 

4 Immortal seemed to have a 
better grasp of the level's 
architecture, and often pinned 
Thresh down with rockets 
fired from above. 

5 As soon as Immortal realised 
Thresh's position, he holed him 
in with a steady stream of 
rockets, earning at least four 
frags in quick succession. 

6 Thresh resorted to travelling 
through the lava trap to collect 
the Hyper Blaster, but Immortal 
was making regular kills, 
stretching his lead to 7-2. 

7 Thresh appeared to have 
the upper-hand for a few 
moments, as Immortal fell to 
a well-placed rocket... 

8 ...but Thresh threw away 9 Thresh tried frantically to 

two frags with carelessly-timed find Immortal in the dying 
rocket shots, taking the score moments of the match, but 
back down to 10-1. had to concede defeat with 

the seconds slipping away. 

10 The final scores revealed 
Immortal's accuracy was way 
ahead of Thresh's. The champ 
had been beaten at last 

14 1 Arcade | January 1 1 999 

Tomb Raider III goes on sale at midnight | "Gaming event of the year' 

By Sam Richards 

Reports indicate 
that Tomb Raider 
III is simply flying 
off the shelves, 
with no sign of 
the suggested backlash as 
yet. The PlayStation version 
of the game hit the shops 
on 20 November, with game 
stores around the country 
reporting booming sales 
thanks to the simultaneous 
launch of Lara's latest and 

rival big-name title FIFA 99 
from EA Sports. Stores up 
and down the UK, including 
the Electronics Boutique 
on Oxford Street, staged 
midnight openings for the 
most die-hard fans, and the 
game has continued to sell 
well ever since. 

"Most committed gamers 
had already had a chance to play 
demo versions, so they knew they 
were getting an improvement on 
Tomb Raider II," commented a 
EB spokesman. "We've also had 
plenty of new gamers coming in 
to buy the whole trilogy, so they 
can start from the beginning. The 

Stores up and down 
the UK staged midnight 
openings for fans 

Lara hype has got to everyone!" 
Similarly, Virgin Megastore in 
Bristol dubbed Tomb Raider III, 
"the biggest gaming event of the 
year", while Game also celebrated 
an influx of new gamers into 
its shop. Meanwhile, in Arcade's 
home town of Bath, Pink Planet 
Games gamely opened at 
midnight to receive a small but 
determined body of Tomb Raider 
fans. Around ten people were 
huddled outside, waiting for the 
doors to open, when Arcade 
arrived. All professed to be £k 
Lara fans. All left happy. *** 


Is videogame 
violence harmful? 

DrMark Griffiths, our resident 
psychologist gets stuck in. 

■ In the eight years I've 
been researching the 
psychology of playing 
videogames, there's one 
question I've been asked 
again and again: does 
the constant playing 
of violent games make 
you a more aggressive 
person? You would think 
that such a hot issue 
would have already 
produced a skip-load of 
research findings, but no: 
in academic circles, it's 
something that has yet 
to be taken seriously. 

But why? After all, the 
improved graphics of 
each new generation 
of game makes the 
depictions of violence 
more explicit, and at the 
same time society itself 
appears to be becoming 
more violent. You'd think 
it an issue worthy of 
investigation, whether 
there's a connection to 
be made or not 

Of course, it's not just 
games that come in the 
firing line. The accusation 
that watching violent 
acts affects viewers in a 

negative way has been 
levelled at television and 
films for many years, and 
this is one area where 
there has been research, 
although none of it 
conclusive. But there is 
a further accusation 
levelled at videogames, 
and that is that playing 
violent videogames 
may, in fact, have a 
more adverse effect on 
children than television, 
because the child is 
actively involved in a 
game, as opposed to 
simply watching. 

Psychologists who 
speculate that playing 
beat-'em-ups and 
shooters might have an 
effect on gamers base 
their thoughts on the 
predictions of two 
popular theories. First, 
Social Learning Theory 
says that children will 
imitate what they see on 
screen, and that playing 
aggressive videogames 
will thus lead to increases 
in aggressive behaviour. 
In direct contradiction to 
this, however, comes the 

Catharsis Theory, 
which says that playing 
aggressive videogames 
has a relaxing effect, by 
channelling the built-up 
aggression of the players 
through the game itself 

The one consistent 
finding seems to be that 
children under the age 
of eight do become 
more aggressive after 
playing or watching a 
violent game. However, 
even here there is plenty 
of debate, mostly on 
whether the procedures 
used to measure 
"aggression" are valid 
and reliable. So the best 
thing we can say at the 
moment, based on 
limited evidence, is that 
if violent games have 
any effect at all, it is 
most noticeable in 
young children. Not very 
satisfying, I know, but 
like I said, there's been 
surprisingly little work 
done in the area. 

■ Dr Mark Griffiths 
lectures at Nottingham 
Trent University. 

Super Mario 

Who's the hardest Nintendo character? Let's find out. 

For years, certain 
gamers have 
been heavily 
campaigning for a 
chance to beat the 
crap out of Mario, 
Luigi and - grrr! - 
Toad in some kind 
of fighting game. 
Nintendo has always 
dodged the issue, 
presumably in the 
belief that it would 
be unsavoury for 
characters so beloved 
of young children to 
be seen cheerfully 
roundhousing an 
opponent. (That they 
already whack each 
other with shells and 
jump on the heads of 
enemies seems to 
have been ignored.) 

However, now it seems 
that Nintendo has had a 
change of heart ar\\ 
Mario beat-'em-up 
for Nintendo 64 c 
is on the way 
Nintendo Ail-Star 

Battle Royal Smash 
Brothers. There's no sign 
of Toad (shame) but it 
will feature Mario, Luigi, 
Donkey Kong, Yoshi, Link 
and Samus from Metroid 
"getting it on." The "Battle 
Royal" in question will not 
be a 7eWcen-style contest, 
but a cute scrap involving 
rather less physical contact 
and more in the way of 
projectiles and magical 
items, including fireflowers 
and striking fans. 

Shigeru Miyamoto 
himself reassures: "It's not 
bloody at all. Instead, it's 
an enjoyable 'hitting' 
game like sumo in Japan, 
in which you have to 
force your 

opponent out of a ring - 
or cage, in this case." 

Each character will have 
his or her own special 
moves: Link, for instance, 
is handy with a sword or 
boomerang, while Yoshi 
can snare an enemy with 
his tongue and turn him 
into an egg! 

Love Mario and you'll 
love Smash Brothers, hate 
Mario and at least you'll 
be able to have Donkey 
Kong give him a good 
licking. The game is 
scheduled for a spring 
release in Japan, with 
Europe to follow. 
We'll keep you 

Sam Richards' 
World of Games 

Competition for 
Game Boy 

■ More details have emerged 
regarding Japanese toy giant 
Bandai's WonderSwan, a 16- 
bit hand-held console similar 
to, but slightly smaller than, 
Nintendo's 8-bit Game Boy 
Color. WonderSwan is only 
black-and-white, but has on 
its side an interesting screen 
configuration that enables 
you to play it portrait or 
landscape style - depending 
on what type of game you 
might be playing. The system 
also boasts games from the 
likes of Square and Namco 
(plus Sega, which Bandai now 
effectively owns), a screen 
resolution slightly better than 
Nintendo's original system, 
and (a key point, this) a 
pocket-money Japanese price 
that could be as low as £25. 

Japanese release is 
scheduled for March '99, with 
no European launch in sight 
Rumours that the console will 
double-up as a toilet cleaner 
are as yet unsubstantiated... 

Street Smart 

■ Dubbed as "snowboarding 
with wheels", the hot new 
craze of skateboarding (yes, 

I am being sarcastic) is set 
to have its first dedicated 
PlayStation title. Street 
Skaters, developed by 
Microcabin and published in 
the UK by EA, will feature 
park and street skating on 
a whole range of stunt and 
race courses, and will include 
over 200 groin-threatening 
tricks, 20 boards and eight 
riders. No UK release date has 
been set, but a spring launch 
seems likely. 

Beaten into 

■ Wrestling games. They're 
a bit like Celine Dion records, 
really: nobody knows anyone 
who likes them, but there 
they are at the top of the 
charts, week after bloody 
week. I mean, do you own 
one? Really? I certainly don't. 

Anyway, after an autumn 
in which WWF: Warzone and 
then WCW/NWO Revenge 
have hogged the top spot in 
the US game charts, THQ 
(publishers of the latter) has 
announced that it will be 
bringing characters such as 
Hulk Hogan and Stone 
Cold Steve Austin to both 
Dreamcast and PlayStation 2. 
Don't say I didn't warn you. 

January | 1999 1 Arcade 1 15 








fSON* 1 


'SO M T 



The winners and the 
losers from 1998, gaming's 
biggest ever year 

Full month-by-month analysis | PlayStation "bigger than Jesus" 

By Dave Roberts 

We're all gamers, right? At the end of the 
day, what matters to us is the quality of 
new games on offer. We care about the 
developers, sure, but only in so much as 
we want to know what they're doing 
next. We care about the different labels 
that games are released on, but only when it guarantees 
some degree of "quality" (like Nintendo, say, or EA Sports). 
And we care about the political machinations of the 
software industry not at all. Right? 

Wrong. It's a sad fact of life 
that smart gamers, particularly 
console gamers, have to pay 
attention to the business side of 
the industry. Why? Because unlike 
films or music, console games are 
played on specialist hardware. You 
can play any CD with any stereo, 
any video in any VCR - you can 
even play any PC game on any PC 
(as long as its fast enough). But 
Metal Gear Solid will only work on 

a Sony PlayStation and Legend of 
Zelda: Ocarina of Time will only 
work on a Nintendo 64. That all 
means that when you buy your 
console you're allying yourself 
with a hardware company (Sony 
or Nintendo right now, perhaps 
Sega in the near future) and the 
success or failure of that company 
will affect how much fun you get 
from your system. If it's doing well, 
you can expect to see loads of 

games released and all the best 
titles will come out first on your 
machine. If it's less successful, like 
Sega's disastrous Saturn, it runs 
the risk of being ignored by the 
major game publishers and thus 
ending up a gaming backwater. 
Should the hardware company 
collapse completely, you'll be left 
with little more than a £150 
paperweight. Just talk to anyone 
who bought a 3DO. 

16 1 Arcade | January 1 1999 

The Power of 

Everyone knows someone with a PlayStation. But how 
do the sales figures for this console really shape up? 

■ There are now over four 
million PlayStations in active 
use in the UK - more than 
one in ten of all households 
that have a TV have one. 
Across Europe as a whole, 
Nintendo 64 is doing better 
than the Super NES or NES 
ever managed, with total 
sales to date of around six 

million. So how does all this 
success compare to other 
systems of the past? 

Our graph (right) shows 
estimates of the maximum 
number of previous games 
platforms that were ever 
simultaneously in use. It also 
shows the year that the 
most important systems 

were at their peak of their 
popularity. As you can see, 
PlayStation is miles ahead - 
and shows absolutely no 
sign of slowing down soon. 
Noted industry experts are 
currently suggesting that 
worldwide total PlayStation 
sales could top 100 million 
before the system's through. 


Year System Peak Active European User Base 

1998 PlayStation ■^^^^^^^^^■^■j 15m 
Nintendo 64 

1992 Mega Drive 
Super NES 

1991 NES 

Sega MS 

1985 C64 






■ Our figures 
suggest that if 
you didn't get 
one of these 
for Christmas, 
you were the 
only one who 
missed out. 

KEY: | Sony Nintendo : Sega ■ Commodore ■ Sinclair 

Choosing which system to buy 
is a lot like betting on the horses, 
really. There are winners, and 
there are losers. Except not this 
year. In the quite remarkable 1998, 
it was winners all the way. 

For '98 has been - without 
doubt - the biggest single year 
in the history of videogames. 
The figures speak for themselves. 
Forget Mega Drive and Super 
Nintendo. Pay no attention to the 
paltry Amiga. Ignore that old 
hippy bloke in the corner droning 
on about the Sinclair Spectrum. 
Right here, right now, is as big as 
videogames have ever got. 

Let me throw some numbers 
at you. In the UK alone, 1998 will 
have seen almost £1 billion of new 
software sold by the time that the 
shops shut on December 31st - 
that's around 30 million games. It's 
more money than was spent on 
the movies. Indeed, this £1 billion is 

63% up on the 1997 games total 
of £623.4 million which, in turn, 
was 64% more than 1996's £375 ' 
million. This is spectacular, almost 
frightening, growth. No form of 
popular entertainment - not films, 
not even pop music - has ever 
experienced growth on a scale 
like this before. Videogames are 
going through the roof. 

Breaking down those figures, 
the Nintendo 64 has contributed 
some, particularly towards the tail 
end of the year, and the Game 
Boy has pulled off a real veteran's 
rally. The excitement about Sega's 
new offering, Dreamcast, has 
added some 128-bit spice to the 
proceedings. But the undisputed 
star of the show has, of course, 
been PlayStation. Nothing seems 
capable of stopping Sony's 32-bit 
hit from boldy going into new, 
uncharted territory virtually every 
week - and at warp factor ten. 

no less. And for all that you hear 
the occasional moan about the 
age of the system, it's showing 
no signs of slowing down. At the 
start of 1998, fresh from selling 
four million machines across 
Europe in '97 Sony had predicted 
that this year would see sales rise 
only slightly, perhaps plateau. The 
company's original internal target 
was set at a seemingly-ambitious 
five million units. Except, that 
wasn't ambitious at all. Demand 
for PlayStation didn't just level off, 
it rocketed. Now Sony's looking 
at a final count up of over eight 
million - and it's unlikely that sales 
will dip significantly, if at all, in 
1999. This time next year, lifetime 
European sales of PlayStation 
could be as high as 23 million - an 
absolutely incredible penetration 
into European households that's 
never been achieved before. 
Nintendo has, understandably, 

1998 has been - without 
a doubt - the biggest 
single year in the history 
of videogames 

struggled to keep up with such an 
aggressive front runner. The N64 
has, of course, been hamstrung by 
an embarrassing lack of quality 
software during the first seven 
months of the year. It's gotten a 
lot better recently, but between 
GoldenEye 007 in February and 
Banjo-Kazooie, released on the 
last day of July, there wasn't a 
single new release of any note for 
the machine. Even now there are 
less than 100 titles available for 
the format, compared with over 
500 for PlayStation. Nevertheless, 
Nintendo will still shift over three 

million consoles in Europe this 
year, bringing the N64's ongoing 
sales total up to around six million. 
Again, it has already eclipsed the 
16-bit SNES which managed just 
two million units in Europe during 
its peak year (1992). 

Even the "loser" is starting to 
look like a big winner. 

And Nintendo also has Game 
Boy. This timeless handheld (it's 
now over a decade old) had its 
biggest year yet in 1998. In fact, 
Game Boy has been Nintendo's 
most successful system this year, 
achieving European sales of 3.6 


January | 1 999 1 Arcade 1 17 

By being a consistent hit 
PlayStation has made 
life a damn sight easier 
for software houses 


million (including one million of 
Game Boy Color, launched in 
November). In any other year, 
facing any other competitor, these 
figures would easily be enough to 
guarantee market leadership, but 
in the post-PlayStation era, they 
amount to nothing more than a 
distant squabble for second place. 

But the stunning PlayStation 
phenomenon has done so much 
more than merely (merely!) take 
the industry to new commercial 
heights, however. It's also made 
the games market a much more 
predictable place than it has ever 
been before, particularly since its 
success has been on a truly global 
scale. PlayStation is the number 
one console all over the world, 
although it doesn't necessarily 
dominate to the same staggering 
degree elsewhere as it does in 
Europe. In the US, Nintendo 
remains a major force; in Japan, 
amazingly, Sega still holds sway, 
with Saturn (you remember the 
Saturn?) hanging on grimly and 
Dreamcast being afforded a 
decent reception. 

By being a consistent, trusted 
hit, PlayStation has made life a 
damn sight easier for software 
houses. They're no longer faced 
with a multitude of risk laden 
choices. Instead they can all plump 
for one easy game development 
option: make it populist and make 
it PlayStation. So, while there may 
well be over 500 games for the 
PlayStation already released, this 
figure looks set to increase 
dramatically. But alongside the 

most obvious choices (for 
example a PlayStation action 
game or a PC real-time strategy 
release) developers will be faced 
with some more interesting new 
challenges in '99. Like, is it really 
worth ramping up support for 
the increasingly successful N64? 
Should they risk going big on 
Dreamcast? How best can they 
exploit the more extreme ends 
of the wide demographic being 
attracted by PlayStation - older 
gamers, younger gamers, far 
more female gamers. And, lurking 
somewhere in the background, 
what about PlayStation 2... 

Ah yes, PlayStation 2, the 
mystery machine that everyone 
except Sony is talking about. The 
machine that doesn't officially 
exist, but is believed to be finished 
and ready, right down even to 
the colour of its casing. Nothing's 
been confirmed (or denied) as yet, 
but it's thought that Sony's new 
offering (probably DVD-based and 
with a dedicated 3D processor 
capable of delivering ten million 
polygons per second) might be 
unveiled for the first time at the 
Tokyo Games Show this spring 
(if it is, of course, Arcade will be 
there) and launched in Japan 
before Christmas. The machine 
probably won't hit Europe until 
the year 2000 or so, but it's there, 
it's waiting. 

1998 was a massive year for 
gaming, the biggest yet. 1999 will 
be even bigger - and, with all 
these new developments, Mk 
even more exciting. #** 

Reasons to be cheerful in 1999 

Whatever you play - on whatever system - the year ahead looks good. 

■ Videogaming has 
traditionally been a 
"boom to bust" business. 
Consoles arrive, everyone 
goes completely bonkers 
for two or three years, 
and then they disappear 
again. They're a bit like 
John Travolta, except not 
as good at dancing. The 
rather odd thing this 
time round is that the 
particular "boom" we're 
enjoying at the moment 
shows no sign of slowing 
down. No matter what 
system you own, there 
are reasons to believe 
that 1999 will be a great 
year. Reasons like these... 


Sequels, sequels, 
and more sequels. 

■ Success breeds success, 
and one thing you can be 
sure of is that there will be 
no shortage of PlayStation 
games released in 1999. 
There'll be hundreds of 'em. 
The only real trouble is that 
when a business gets this big, 
people tend to play it safe. 
Hence we will be getting 
sequels by the bucketload. 
Our list of 1999's most 
anticipated games reads 
frighteningly like the 1998 - 
or even the 1997 - list, but 
with different numbers at 
the end of each game name. 
Check it out: Gran Turismo2, 
Ridge Racer Type 4, Tomb 
Raider IV, WipEout3, Tekken 
4, Destruction Derby 3, Final 
Fantasy VIII, PaRappa the 
Rapper 2 and so on. 

But this doesn't mean 
that innovation is dead. Sean 
Atkins, editor of PlayStation 
Power magazine says, "On 
the surface it's easy to think 
that PlayStation games are 
stuck in a rut, but actually 
the opposite is true. Not 
only is there a great deal of 
innovation happening within 
the better sequels - Ridge 
Racer 4 promises to be 
drastically different from any 
previous game in the series, 
for instance - there are also 
plenty of brand new games 
coming for the system. Both 
PaRappa the Rapper and 
Gran Turismo are recent 
surprise hits that came out 
of nowhere - the only 
reason people talk about 
sequels the whole time is 
that they're a known 

"Besides, when you 
have around 20 million 

PlayStations in use 
in Europe alone, 
developers can to 
take chances on 
innovative games. 
Even if only one 
in 20 PlayStation 
gamers buy it, 
it's still a million 

He has 
a point. 

Nintendo 64 

It's getting better 
all the time, 

■ The great game drought 
of mid-1998, which saw 
gameplay-starved Nintendo 
64 owners cramming books, 
toast and golf clubs into their 
cartridge slots in the crazed 
hope of yielding a few new 
precious gaming moments, is 
over. Finally, the games came. 
And with them came a 
renewed sense of optimism 
in the whole N64 scene. 

James Ashton, editor of 
N64 Magazine, thinks 1999 
will be Nintendo's best year 
yet. "It'll be a while before 
anyone gets tired of Zelda 64 
or Turok 2," he says, "but 
look at the games coming. 
There's Jet Force Gemini, 
Donkey Kong Country, 
Perfect Dark, Banjo-Twooie 
and a secret project from 
Rare. There's Smash Bros, a 
Nintendo fighting game - 
and Super Mario 64 2. Then 
there's South Park and 
Shadowman from Acclaim." 

The new RAM Pak will 
make a big difference to N64 
gaming. This £30 add-on (it's 
also included free with Turok 
2) gives developers more 
memory space to create 
better graphics. "It will stretch 
the difference between N64 
and PlayStation games even 
further," believes Ashton. 
And there may be a couple 
of other surprises. "Back 
in November of 1997, 
Nintendo showed a 
sneak preview of a game 
called Jungle Emperor 
Leo," he reveals. "It was 
being designed by Shigeru 
Miyamoto, the man behind 
for Zelda and Mario, but 
then the trail went cold and 
no more was heard of it. But 
this game could resurface in 
1999 and be a huge hit. 
Nintendo has pulled surprises 
like this before." 

Lastly, Ashton reckons 
that Pocket Monsters could 
be as big in the UK as it's 
been in Japan. The idea is 
that gamers create and 
nurture their "monsters" on 
Game Boy (in the way you'd 
develop a Tamagotchi) and 
then pit these 
against those of 
friends on an 
Nintendo 64. "It 
could be huge," says 
Ashton. You've been 


Sega's ail-new 
128-bit wild card. 

■ Dreamcast's recent 
Japanese launch won't have 
too much of an immediate 
affect on the status quo - in 
Japan, PlayStation enjoys an 
unassailable lead, while 
Nintendo 64 is all but dead 
and buried (even Sega's 
Saturn is outselling it). But 
the mid to long-term 
Dreamcast effect could be 
huge. Sega estimates that 
500,000 Dreamcasts will find 
their way into the hands of 
eager Japanese gamers by 
February, and this number 
can only grow throughout 
1999. If Dreamcast creates 
the kind of buzz that Sega 
expects, then not only will its 
sales continue to rise, but 
PlayStation sales will fall - 
Sony's machine will no longer 
enjoy the cache of being the 
hottest box on the street. 

UK gamers will get their 
hands on the Dreamcast in 
September '99. With surefire 
hits such as Sonic Adventure, 
Virtua Fighter 3tb, Sega 
Rally 2 and Biohazard: Code 
Veronica leading the charge, 
the power of Sega's assault 
on Sony's new found empire 
shouldn't be underestimated. 

Game Boy 

You have to hand it 
to Nintendo. 

■ It's incredible to think that 
in 1998, nearly ten years after 
its original debut, Nintendo's 
Game Boy enjoyed its most 
successful year. And there's 
no reason to assume that 
1999 will see anything other 
than further success for 
everyone's favourite purple 
handheld. Games to watch 
out for include South 
Park, Zelda, and Harvest 

South Park 
guys shrink! 


Consoles? What 

■ The PC continues to march 
on relentless, oblivious to all 
the comings and goings of 
the console business. And 
the gaming scene has never 
looked healthier. Indeed, 
already there are plenty of 
hits to look forward to. The 
pick of the bunch has to be 
id software's Quake III: Arena 
- can the Texas developer 
that shook the world shake 
it yet again? The smart 
money says it can. The 
game's focus is very much on 
the multi-player experience 
(id's John Carmack has gone 
on record saying, "Quake III is 
designed purely with the 
deathmatch in mind"). And 
although this means that it's 
likely to be a bigger hit in the 
US, where free local phone 
calls means the on-line multi- 
player business is a lot more 
vibrant than here in the UK, 
there's plenty of reason for 
UK gamers to be excited. No 
one does shoot-'em-ups 
better than id, and the 
gaming world is watching to 
see how id redefines all the 
rules this time around. 

Other games to watch 
out for include Ion Storm's 
Anachronox (an enormous 
RPG built using the Quake II 
engine), Peter Molyneux's 
Lionhead Studio's Black and 
White, Cavedog's Good and 
Evil (designer Ron Gilbert is 
previously responsible for 
LucasArts's ground-breaking 
Secret of Monkey Island) and 
3D Realms' black-comedy 
shooter Max Payne. 

"It's not just the many 
hundreds of new games on 
the way that'll make '99 so 
great for PC owners," says 
Jim Flynn, editor of PC Gamer. 
"PCs themselves are getting 
cheaper all the time - this 
time next year you'll be able 
to get a good gaming PC, 
one that would cost you a 
four figure sum today, for a 
mere £500-600. And 3Dfx's 
new Voodoo 3 graphics card, 
available around March, will 
make even better-looking 
games possible. Plus, for the 
owners of low-spec PCs, 
there'll be many more 
hunting games. 3D Hunting 
Grizzly ("plus Maneater 
Mission - hunt the grizzly 
before he kills again!") is my 
current favourite, 
but there are still 
f -^ more to 

^^^h m^^ come." 

Quake III - future 
of the deathmatch? 

18 1 Arcade | January 1 1 999 


1998, as it happened 

It all went so quickly. Here's our blink-and-you-missed-it year in games... 

■ Tiger feat: Crash 
Bandicoot 3 will sell 
big this Christmas. 

E3 saw many new 
games announced. 


■ Tomb Raider II confirmed 
as the biggest-selling game 
of 1997. Sony launches a 
dedicated PlayStation 
Web site (http://www 
as the console's UK 
installed base cruises past 
the two million mark. Sega 
reveals that its all-new 
console, then code named 
Katana, will not be rolled 
out to Europe until 1999. 


■ After literally years of 
speculation and rumour, 
Nintendo announces plans 
for a colour Game Boy. The 
firm also reveals a European 
target of three million sales 
for N64 in 1998. Veteran 
development team Sensible 
Software (Sensible Soccer, 
Cannon Fodder) puts up the 
For Sale signs, declaring 
that it's impossible to 
remain independent in the 
modern day games market. 
Paramount Studios confirms 
it is working on a movie 
based on the Tomb Raider 
series of games. 

u q o O 


■ The PocketStation - 
Sony's new memory 
card with attitude. 

m - 


Paramount bets 
on the babe. 


■ New in the shops: 
Nightmare Creatures 
(PlayStation); Cool 
Boarders 2 (PlayStation) 


■ Japanese games shops 
are besieged by overnight 
queues of frenzied punters 
as Capcom unleashes 
Resident Evil 2 on its home 
turf. Sony says it hopes 
European PlayStation sales 
might top five million in 
1998. Sony pulls a major 
surprise, announcing plans 
for a new PlayStation 
peripheral known initial as 
a Personal Digital Assistant 
(PDA) - basically a memory 
card with knobs on that's 
also capable of acting as a 
small primitive portable 
system, playing titles (or, 
sometimes, samples of 
titles) that it takes via the 
PlayStation itself from 
specially adapted main 
games. Top UK coder 
Bullfrog announces that 
the third game in its classic 
Populous series - The 
Beginning, originally 
scheduled for Christmas '97 
- has been delayed by 
another six months. 

■ New in the shops: 
Fighter's Destiny (N64) 


Sony is contemplating 
launching its range of 
natty PlayStation clothing 
(previously available only 
through mail order) in high 
street stores. Electronic 
Arts promises that the 
company's forthcoming 
World Cup 98 will be the 
biggest ever release in the 
European games market, 
smashing the sales records 
held by Tomb Raider II. 

■ New in the shops: 
Resident Evil 2 
(PlayStation); Starcraft 

■ New in the shops: 
Nagano Winter Olympics 
(PlayStation, N64); 
Nuclear Strike 
(PlayStation, PC); 
GoldenEye 007 (N64) 

The N64, still struggling 
to build a substantial 
software catalogue, is 
boosted by the news that 
three leading publishers, 
Codemasters, Infogrames 
and Activision, will all be 
supporting the format. 
Global sales of PlayStation 
hit 20 million. World Cup 98 
is released but, though it 
shoots to the top of the 
charts, fails to hit the 
huge sales targets set by 
publisher EA, leaving Tomb 
Raider as the market's pace 
setter. Sega unveils its new 
console complete with a 
new name, Dreamcast, to 
an invite-only audience of 
developers and publishers 
in Tokyo. Acclaim, Midway, 
MicroProse, GT Interactive 
and Interplay all confirm 
that they'll be supporting 
the new system. The entire 
industry gathers in Atlanta 
for E3, the games market's 
biggest annual trade show. 
Star titles include Zelda 64, 
Tomb Raider III and Spyro. 


■ Heart of Darkness, the 
most delayed title in the 
history of gaming, six years 
in development and four 
years after it was originally 
scheduled, is finally 
released. It's not much cop 
and doesn't sell particularly 
well. Oh dear. European 
publishers begin to show 
enthusiasm for Dreamcast. 
Early converts include 
Infogrames (V-Raily) and 
Gremlin (Actua Soccer). 
Sony offers PlayStation 
packed with Gran 
Turismo for £149.99. 
Sega announces a mid- 
September launch for 
Dreamcast. A price tag 
of £199 is expected. 

September November 

I Nintendo finally cuts its 
software prices, with major 
releases and most back 
catalogue dropping from 
£44.99 to £39.99. Tomb 
Raider publisher EIDOS 
snaps up two hot footy 
licences: England starlet 
Michael Owen (his World 
League Soccer game is out 
this month) and UEFA's 
Champions League (next 
spring). It emerges that 
Westwood Studios' third 
CSC game, TiberianSun, 
has been delayed until after 


■ New in the shops: Gran 
Turismo (PlayStation); 
Incoming (PC); Forsaken 
(PC); World Cup 98 
(PlayStation, PC) 


■ As the World Cup kicks 
off in France, Infogrames is 
believed to have signed a 
licensing deal with Brazilian 
centre forward Ronaldo 
(the resulting game will be 
out in the first half of '99). 
EA, the firm behind the 
hugely successful FIFA 
series, grabs the rights to 
the next two World Cups. 
Konami concedes that hotly 
tipped PSX title Metal Gear 
Solid probably won't hit 
Europe before Christmas. 

■ New in the shops: 
Premier Manager '98 
(PlayStation, PC); Point 
Blank (PlayStation); Colin 
McRae Rally (PlayStation); 
Banjo-Kazooie (N64) 


■ The European installed 
base of PlayStation passes 
ten million. BAFTA (the 
British Academy of Film and 
Television Arts) decides to 
invite game developers to 
join its ranks. MicroProse 
{Civilization, Grand Prix 2) 
merges with toy giant 
Hasbro {Monopoly, Ciuedo) 
to form new gaming 
superpower. Nintendo 
denies rumours that Zelda 
will be pushed back into 
1999. Sony cuts the price of 
the PlayStation to £99, level 
with the N64. EA, the 
world's biggest games firm, 
acquires Westwood Studios 
(the Las Vegas team behind 
Command & Conquer/ Red 
Alert) for £1225 million. 

■ New in the shops: 
Tekken 3 (PlayStation); F1 
World Grand Prix ( N64); 
Mission: Impossible (N64) 


■ Sega finally unveils the 
Japanese version of the 
Dreamcast at its own New 
Challenge trade conference 
in Tokyo. It will retail for 
Y29.800, suggesting a £199 
UK price point, and will be 
supported initially by five 
games including Virtua 
Fighter 3 and Sega Rally 2. 
Well placed sources suggest 
that Nintendo already has a 
prototype of its N64 
successor - and that it's 
already advanced enough 
to be running early 
versions of the first games 
in development Dixons 
announces plans to launch 
a national chain of specialist 
software shops, called, for 
some reason, ©Jakarta. 
The first has just opened in 
Essex's Lakeside shopping 
centre. Eschewing the 
straightforward price cut 
option, Nintendo offers its 
£99 N64 with either 
GoldenEye 007 or Mario 64. 

■ New in the shops: 
Unreal (PC); Spice World 
Commandos (PC) 

■ New in the shops: 
International Superstar 
Soccer '98 (N64, 
PlayStation); WWF 
War zone (N64, 

MOAIfr 'ISO ftS 

■ New in the shops: 1080° 
Snowboarding (N64); 
Spyro the Dragon 
(PlayStation); Formula 1 
'98 (PlayStation) 

Nintendo's Game Boy 
Color arrives, priced at 
£69.99, supported by over 
half a dozen titles. EIDOS 
launches 7bmb Raider III: 
The Adventures of Lara 
Croft. It already looks 
like becoming the most 
successful instalment so far 
in the series which, through 
the efforts of the first and 
second games, has notched 
up global sales of nearly 
ten million units. 

■ New in the shops: Body 
Harvest (N64); Tomb 
Raider III (PC, 
PlayStation); FIFA 99 
(PlayStation, PC); TOCA 2 
(PlayStation, PC) 


■ And so this is Christmas. 
Except, of course, at the 
time of writing, it's still 
weeks away. It's not hard 
to predict, however, that 
December will see more 
games consoles, PCs and 
entertainment software 
sold in a single month than 
ever before. PlayStation 
will continue to dominate 
- although Nintendo 

will have a very happy 
Christmas providing Zelda 
and Turok 2 make in time 
for the 25th. 

■ New in the shops: Turok 
2 (N64); Ze/da: Ocarina of 
Time (N64); Crash 

Bandicoot 3 (PlayStation) 

January | 1999 1 Arcade 1 19 






Knicker-flashing, neck-snapping 
beat-'em-up from Konami. 

■ IN A NUTSHELL: Konami warms up for the much- 
awaited UK release of king sneak-'em-up Metal Gear Solid 
with a nifty 3D beat-'em-up. Its USP: this game is all about 
the fine art of the counter-attack. 

Iast time we checked, Tekken 3 was still 
undisputed king of the beat-'em-up castle. 
But as anyone who's seen a kung f u film - 
or, indeed, played a scrapping game - will 
tell you, it's never long before the young 
pretenders start lining up to take a pop. 
Hence Kensei: Sacred Fist, one newcomer with a 
better chance than most. Not only is it the first 
PlayStation fighter from ISS and Metal Gear 
meister Konami, but it boasts a subtle new 
combat system designed to (amongst other 
things) prevent visiting mates and relatives 
from beating your well-practised combos by 
the simple act of hammering the buttons. 

If this new fighting system could be described in a 
couple of words, it'd be "counter-attacking." A "redirect"' 
button sees your character take a specific martial arts 

stance, then use his blocking of the 
blows raining on him as platform for 
fighting back. Turning defence into 
attack, you can cunningly divert your 
opponent's smacks, simultaneously 
hitting back through their blows, 
applying the old martial arts adage of 
using your foe's aggression against 
them. Mistime your pugilistic reply, 
however, and you're left vulnerable to 
counter-counter attacks. Things could 
quickly get very complicated - but 
then that's not a bad thing in a genre 
often dismissed as depth-free. 

But this being a Konami game, it 
ain't no one-trick pony. Everything 
else you expect, nay demand, from a 
beat-'em-up is present and correct. 
There are four ways to play (Normal, 
Versus, Time Attack and Survival) and 
a character select screen crammed 
with 20 characters - 12 of them in 

20 1 Arcade | January 1 1 999 

As well as redirecting your 
opponent's blows against 
them, Kensei: Sacred Fist puts 
a strong-armed emphasis on 
throws and holds. And in true 
Tekken style, they're replayed 
in slow motion for you to get 
the full effect of that wince- 
inducing cracking noise as the 
bone snaps. Lovely. 

silhouette, unlocking as you play the 
game. Of the eight instantly available, 
the usual Japanese fighting suspects 
are all there, ranging from school-girls 
(this one's called Yuli) to handsome 
male leads (Yugo), taking in eccentrics 
like the grunge-inspired Heinz and 
David, a bloke in a cowboy hat, along 
the way. And in the worst piece of 
videogame sexism since Dead or 
Alive's breast-inflation option, most of 
the females "accidentally" flash their 
knickers as they fight. 

Thankfully, however, the fighting 
system is rather more sophisticated. A 
well-balanced range of blows, and 
different but powerful characters, 
should make for very close, satisfying 
battles. Although the characters don't 
quite have Tekken's graphic realism, 
Kensei comes across as a polished 
item - the combat mechanics, you 






feel, have been playtested, then 
playtested again, to the point where 
timing is at least as important as move 
learning. In our experience, that's the 
sign of a quality beat-'em-up. 

Of course, Kensei's main problem 
is the same as that facing every other 
fighter - it isn't Tekken 4. It isn't even 
Tekken 3. But by concentrating on 
what really matters to fighting folk - 
the actual scrapping itself - there's 
every chance it'll act as a decent stop- 
gap. We reckon it might be capable of 
giving the Big 7" a vicious Chinese burn, 
matching it for depth if not out jgi 
and out brilliance. J** 


An ingenious, utterly addictive puzzler that 
should soon have pixie-pushed dice dots 
dancing across your closed eyelids. 

■ IN A NUTSHELL: It's a kind of 3D 
Tetris, involving dice which have to be 
manipulated into groups of matching 
faces. Addiction clinics are already 
being established. 

Ike games in history No. 1: 
Snake Eyes - no skill here, 
but tension instilled by 
the fact that if you roll 
double one, you're dead. 
Dice games in history No. 
2: Yahtzee - tight-fisted Dad 
buys cheapo game because he 
can't afford Mousetrap, and 
prolonged hours of Christmas 
Day boredom are the result. 

Devil Dice doesn't have much of 
a pedigree, but with one simple, yet 
inspired, stroke the humble dice have 
been transformed into a weapon of 
mind-roasting terror. The pointy- 
hatted little imp which you control 
may look cute enough, but while 
stuck in his tiny dice-infested world, he 
will do his best to make your life hell. 

The essentials of the game are 
easy to pick up when you see it in 
action, but as you won't have a 










chance to do that 
for a couple of 
months, we'll try to 
explain. Your little 
devil stands atop 
of a die in the 
middle of 3D grid, 
some of which is 
filled with other 
dice. Lead him in any direction and the 
die moves under him, coming to rest 
on a differently-numbered face as it 
rolls into a new position. The upward 
face is the one that counts, and the 
aim is to manipulate the dice into 
touching blocks of which the upward 
numbered face is the same. A number 
two requires a grouping of two dice, 
number three requires three and so 
on. On completion of a group, the dice 
in question will disappear into the 
ground. The idea is to clear the whole 
grid, but as soon as a group of dice 
sink into the floor, more rise up in 
other areas of the grid. Like Tetris, 
the game is infinite, and therefore 
as infuriatingly as it is addictive. 

The two-player battle mode is as 
frenzied as any beat-'em-up, and the 
five-player option (entitled, not 
without reason, "War Mode") is the 
best reason yet to save up for that 
multi-tap. In the unlikely event that 
you become tired of the main game, 
there are all kind of offshoot puzzles 
which not only provide a diversion, but 
will hone your skills for another assault 
at that high score. Devil Dice looks to 
be a class act: we fancy Tetris and 
Bust-A-Move will soon have a M\ 
worthy new challenger. **» 

It may look like something 
out of a conceptual Heaven 17 
video, but don't worry about 
the graphical quality -just 
feel that puzzling width. The 
concept: roll your dice around 
the grid leaving matching 
faces upward. The verdict: 
please direct me immediately 
to the nearest counsellor... 

January | 1 999 | Arcade | 21 


The world's finest strategy game 
is about to get medieval on your 
ass. (This is a good thing.) 

TA: Kingdoms is based on 
Total Annihilation, the best 
real time strategy game of all. 

■ IN A NUTSHELL: Hugely respected PC developer 
Cavedog relocates Total Annihilation, its top-notch real-time 
strategy game, to a fantasy setting. 

You can only admire the cheek of these 
Cavedog boys. Just as the original 
Total Annihilation's massed forces rolled 
relentlessly right over the top of the 
once mighty C&C: Red Alert, so this more 
fantasy-orientated sequel is setting out 
to do a similar number on Warcraftll, the chosen 
game of real-time strategy fans who want ores 
and magic rather than tiny tanks and soldiers. 
The smart money is on them not stopping until 
they hit Berlin. 

What we have here, then, doesn't look too original - 
at least at first sight - but it oozes quality. We're in default- 
setting Tolkien territory again, of course, with the now 
obligatory perpetual forces of darkness about to descend 
on a once peaceful land. You know the deal. The thing 
to get really excited about though, is the way Cavedog has 
re-jigged TA's game engine to enable Kingdom's four 

different races - representing Earth, 
Air, Fire and Water - to set about 
eliminating each other. The action 
promises to be a lot less predictable 
than in more typical attack/retreat 
two-player skirmishes. 

Visually the game is impressive, 
with minutely-detailed graphics that 
extend right down to the arrows 
flying from archer's bows. Sensibly, 
given that nothing else has yet 
come within a clear country mile of 
matching the original TA game engine, 
Cavedog is using a tuned-up version 
for Kingdoms. Now using 16-bit colour, 
it takes the original's exquisite 
landscapes and textured-polygon 
forces to even more sumptuous 
heights. It's going to look great. 

The use of magic is interesting too, 
with the more law-abiding races using 
sorcery only to heal each other and 

22 1 Arcade | January | 1 999 

Dragons, wizards, ores, goblins - the Tolkien- 
esque world of magic and a perpetual struggle 
between good and evil seems to fit real time 
strategy games. But can TA: Kingdoms really 
surpass Blizzard's Warcraftlf? It'll be a good fight. 


Remember that crazy TV show, Monkey? 
This game is based on it. Kind of. (A bit.) 

■ IN A NUTSHELL: Hit point-free 
action RPG based around the ancient 
Chinese legends (and, of course, the 
funky 70s TV show). 

With slapstick, brilliantly 
theme-tuned '70s kung 
f u series Monkey fast 
overtaking Scooby Doo 
as a topic of heated 
nostalgic discussion 
in Student Unions across the 
country, the time is certainly 
right for this top-down, action 
RPG starring the magnificently 
sideburned primate. 

To be fair, Monkey Hero's nothing 
to do with the TV show, but simply 
based around the same, conveniently 
well out of copyright, ancient Chinese 
stories. That being the case, we can't 
guarantee heavy involvement from 
Pigsy, the fish-bloke or the quite- 
clearly-a-girl priest - although, as 
staples of the legend, they should be 
here. But even if they're not, Monkey 
Hero comes packed with lots of 
staff twirling and cloud whistling 
to compensate. The end result is 
probably best 










- there are a 16 
huge areas to 
pick your way 
through as you 
guide Monkey on 
a quest to locate 
eight chapters of a 
magic story book 

- but rather that 
its puzzles are so 

straightforward that it's unlikely to 
cause experienced gamers problems. 

It's not all puzzle solving. There 
are also objects to pick up and even 
the occasional fight, making this very 
much an action RPG in the SNES Zeida 
mould. A lot of the gameplay involves 
making using of objects littered about 
the place - you'll be blowing holes 
in walls with dynamite, and using 
grappling hooks to reach inaccessible 
places. Naturally there are spells too 
(and where would an RPG be without 
them?), allowing Monkey to perform 
such feats as hover across gaping 
chasms and revealing hidden objects. 

With a part anime, part Disney 
cutesy look to the characters, Monkey 
Hero could easily be dismissed as a 
game for the younger player. But 
suggesting it's just (you know) for 
kids, does ignore the fact that it's 
looking like a particularly well thought 
out and potentially engrossing release. 
Don't go expecting it to take over 
your life and assail you with hit points 
in the same way as Final Fantasy VII 
or Alundra, and you should be Mk 










QUARTER 1, 1999 

■ PC NEEDS: P200, 

build things, relying on catapults and 
battering rams for offensive duties, 
while those in the black, pointy 
hats aren't above all sorts of dodgy 
shenanigans, up to and including the 
use of zombie armies. Hmm, magic for 
good, or for the creation of zombie 
armies? We know which we'd choose. 
And if this wasn't enough, the cast 
iron strategy underlying the original 
Total Annihilation has been further 
strengthened by no end of tweaking. 
Certainly, gaining domination of the 

high terrain is likely to be a prime 
consideration for anyone looking to 
pound foes from a great distance 
with their medieval boulder-chucking 
machinery. True, there aren't as many 
units per army as in the original game, 
but, fear not - that's only because 
they're now shared amongst four, 
rather than two, powers. Many of the 
superfluous elements of TA have been 
jettisoned to leave your forces leaner 
and easier to marshal. You'll quickly be 
able to download new machines from 
the net too. 

That's TA: Kingdoms then. An 
almighty battle between good and 
evil played out with sorcery and siege 
weapons and almost certain to be 
one of the finest pieces of strategy 
you'll see all year. And let's not forget 
those zombie armies. £k 

Start buffing your shield. **» 


Astras pounding across Essex? Nope, this is exotic motors and global racing. 




■ IN A NUTSHELL: The maker of Total Drivin', one of 
the best pre-Gran Turismo racers, are back with a new 
car game and tagged-on boy racer magazine licence. If 
the backwards baseball cap fits... 

Remember Total Driving For its time it was 
fantastic, packed with excitingly different 
car types and a wide range of tracks. And 
now comes developer Eutechnyx's belated 
follow up - a game that has much of the 
same feel as Gran Turismo. 
The racing's structured in a similar league set up, with a 

Car Constructor's Championship and 
25 available motors, all realistic-looking 
models from mostly mainstream 
manufacturers. You start with the likes 
of Peugeot 206s, progressing to the 
high-octane thrills of Toyota Supras. 
But could this be a better game 
than G77 Well, there's a definite case 
to be made for Max Power picking up 
on Gran Turismo's few perceived 
weaknesses. This offering has, after 
all, nearly triple the amount of tracks 

(a big 30), situated in ten locations 
ranging from the glamorous (Rome 
and Monaco) to the bleak (Norway). 
Varied weather conditions, already 
reckoned to be a high-light of GT2, 
feature heavily, and cars also take 
damage - you can lose bumpers, 
smash headlights and.mangle your 
bodywork with a noticeable effect on 
your motor's performance. All it needs 
now is a car-park burn-out or school- 
girl tit-flashing option. 

As with most 
post-Ridge Racer 
driving games, the 
most powerful 
motors on offer 
are revealed with a 
car salesman-like 
flourish as rewards 
for winning races. 
In another semi- 
nod to the great Turismo, 17 tuning 
options are also there to be unlocked. 
You can fiddle with brakes, adjust the 
steering and tweak the nuts and 
bolts, although not to quite the same 
intense Haynes manual-degree as in 
Sony's racer. 

Max Power might not be quite as 
classy as, well, you know who... but 
the cars look good, the racing's tight 
and the stereo will rattle your 
windows. Review next issue. 


24 1 Arcade | January | 1 999 

You've played the game, 
now watch the video! 



Out tiotri 

..R.P. £12.99 

H * 4 












I I 

Available from 


and all qood video ret 

Distributed in the UK by DISC DISTRIBUTION. Tel. 0131 362 8122 

For further information please call A.D.Vision on: 01248 421000. 


TEKKEN © 1997 1998 NAMCO LIMITED / ASCII CORPORATION / Sony Music Entertainment (Ja 


SOW" „„ 





One n Japan. One ii the USA. One makrig 

games, One having played more games than is 

strictly healthy. Meet Arcade's regiriar experts 


Neil Jackson 

You Ve overdosed on the hype - so why 
are you still waiting for that new console? 

e're all familiar with the scenario: you start 
hearing rumours of a new hardware platform; 
before you know it, speculative stories start 
appearing in the press; soon, you hear that it's 
out in Japan "the month after next"; but then it doesn't 
appear, and the delay stretches for months... 

So why is this? Why is launching a new hardware system 
typically so difficult? My years in the industry have left me 
with a list of hurdles that often trip a fledgling hardware 
platform on its way to market. Most of these hurdles 
affect the development of the debut software titles, 
rather than the system itself. But seeing that no company 
is going to release a games console without any decent 
games, they are just as hazardous to the system's progress. 

1) "I thought you knew how to do it!" 

It's a new machine and nobody at the development house knows how 
to code the games for it yet. Like a cheap Japanese video-recorder, it 
could take years to master if it's a real bitch. PlayStation developers 
struggled for two years to really get the measure of that beast, and 
already it's due for replacement. 

2) Hardware headaches 

The manufacturer-approved, £3k development kit appears to be a 
pocket-calculator hooked up to a PC by a bit of string soaked in meths, 

and it behaves almost entirely 
unlike the machine being hyped in 
the press. Shabby devkits mean 
long, expensive development, and 
games that never turn out as 
planned. Or just never turn out. 

3) It's not just bad workmen 
who blame their tools... 

Nowadays, most game developers 
rely on manufacturer-prepared 
libraries of functions to do the 
boring tasks like accessing CDs or 
screen manipulation (in theory it's 
great, because it means we don't 
have to mess about doing the 
boring, basic stuff - it's already 
been done for us). The problem 
is that if the routines that control 
these things are buggy, then so 
is your game. If the hardware 
manufacturer re-writes its buggy 
libraries from scratch midway 
through your project (and they 
will do this, albeit grudgingly) 
then you have the choice of 
starting over your project with 
the new code or giving up. 

4) "Yes? No? Yes? No?" 

So who's going to make what 
games? Developers can't afford 
to learn and master brand new 
machines on a whim, nor can 
they afford the development 
kits without having a project 
(and a publisher) to fund them. 
Meanwhile, publishers may have 
taken a battering with a particular 
platform or manufacturer before, 
or be wary about gambling on a 
new machine. Simultaneously, 
manufacturers may deliberately 
not want more than a few key 
games for their new machine's 
launch, so as not to confuse 
customers. So who gives the 
green light? It's usually the 
publisher's call, but it's heavily 
dependent on the other two 
parties - all three have to agree 
with the idea, or it's a non-starter. 

5) "Revolutionary!" or bust 

Manufacturers of new machines 
desperately want to offer "all- 
new experiences." This means no 
old games, no conversions from 
other platforms and, if possible, 
"something radical" that you can't 
get anywhere else. This costs - 
especially since it means that 
the development budget can't be 
recouped by porting the game to 

other systems. Your single golden 
egg; their unproven basket. Will 
you give it to them? 

6) Losing your nerve 

New machines mean either new 
customers and opportunities, or 
grandiose flops and multi-million 
dollar losses. Many things can go 
wrong before launch: bad press, 
faulty hardware, short supplies, 
poor games or the wrong price, 
to name but a few. These factors 
give publishers nightmares, so 
they tend to fence-sit until it's 
certain that the platform will 
make a profit, sometimes killing 
the machine in the process. 

7) "What kind of a console 
do you take me for?" 

Console owners keep a pretty 
tight reign on the content of 
games for their system and have 
to "approve" everything. Green 
blood is a common result of this 
process, but many aspects of plot 
(including bad language, violence, 
religious (mis)representation, 
gore, obscenity, sex and - in 
fact - practically anything you 
can imagine that might actually 
be fun) can present approval 
problems. These can turn a 
million-dollar PC hit into the 
unreleasable console equivalent 
of The Exorcist overnight. 

8) Pumpy partners 

If a developer doesn't have the 
experience, time, staff or kit to 
convert one of its successful titles 
on to a new platform, then it may 
hive-off the job to another team. 
Then comes a right political 
quagmire. First, there are the 
royalty negotiations - you have 
to sort out who is going to get 
what, if the title does well. It's 
usually a bunfight, especially if 
the game relies on one team's 
proprietary tricks, or if the 
game-concept was an original 
idea belonging to another. Then 
there's deciding who is doing 
what, exactly. Then there's 
actually getting it done. And if 
it turns out that the conversion 
is too difficult, long-winded or 
infeasible, the publisher will cut its 
losses, and you'll never get to see 
the game. At least, not on your 
new dream machine. 

So there we have it. The fact is 
that launching a new games 
machine is a right risky old 
business, and one always in 
danger of being scuppered by a 
variation on the old chicken-and- 
egg conundrum - the machine is 
no use without great dedicated 
software, but few people want 
to risk the investment needed to 
create great stuff for it before a 
single unit has been sold. 

Are you curious about any 
specific aspect of the games 
industry? If so, drop me a line at 
and I'll try and demystify 
the process for you. 


■ Ex-Argonaut General 
Manager Neil Jackson is still 
working on Star Trek: New 
Worlds at Binary Asylum. 



Sports games: they 
donl have to be 
realistic to be great 

here've been a ton 
of new releases 
here in the States 
over the past few 
weeks as the industry gears 
up for Thanksgiving, the 
traditional start of the 
Christmas shopping frenzy 
(and popular US two-day 
holiday). However, the bulk 
of the stuff that's come out 
is just a bunch of seen-it- 
all-bef ore knobcheese. 
Cynical? Me? Nah. I'm just 
a fussy git who doesn't 
like to waste time playing 
slightly refined versions 
of last year's games. Or, 
indeed, the year before's, 
come to think of it... 

Anyway, enough of my 
moaning. One game that's 
recently caught my jaundiced 
eyeball and provided more than 
an eighth of gaming pleasure is 
PlayStation NFL Blitz. If you haven't 
heard of it, it's a conversion of the 
eponymous Midway coin-op, and 
- if you hadn't already guessed 
from the title - it's a very arcadey 
American football game. 

Take it as read that graphics, 
sound and gameplay are all top- 
notch. After all, why the hell 
would it be worth playing if 
they weren't? However, since 
traditional journalism requires 
facts to back up a statement, 
and since this fine organ to 
which I contribute usually favours 
words over pictures of grinning 
Page Three rejects, I'd better 
explain what makes NFL Blitz fun. 

Simple: it's very cartoon-like. 
Not actually in terms of looks - 
the players and graphics are 
realistically drawn and animated - 
but in the gameplay itself. It's 
really over-the-top, but in the 
best way. Players are endowed 
with superhuman strength, so 
they can run faster, jump higher, 
tackle harder and throw farther 
than they can in real life. The 
controls are very intuitive - 
switching control of players is a 
breeze, and making them run, 
spin and punch other players out 
of the way is really easy. The end 
result is an incredibly fast, high- 
energy American football game 
that's brilliant fun to play. You can 
do huge throws, and then, once 
you have control of the catcher, 
make him leap high in the air to 

26 1 Arcade | January 1 1 999 

grab the ball. Press the "turbo" 
button and watch him blister up 
the field quicker than a terrified 
bloke with explosive diarrhoea. 
Get the timing right, and your 
guy can punch, spin and shoulder- 
charge opponents out of the way. 
Conversely, if you're on defence, 
you can tackle, grab or simply 
dive on to a receiver and send 
him smashing into the ground 
(or flying up into the air). And 
because there are no referees 
(and therefore no penalties) you 
can even do this after a play has 
finished - always nice when you 
want to prove a point... 

The final bonus is that the 
game is official. Yep, 'cos it carries 
an NFL license, it has all the top 
teams and players. This gives the 
game a really cool air, in the weird 
way that's common to licensed 
sports games. The end result: a 
very rewarding, enjoyable football 
game (but not, of course, a 
football sim). 

Okay, so you're probably 
thinking, "It's alright for you, ya 
turncoat Americanised ex-pat. I 
don't give a monkey's jizz about 
American football." Well, to be 
honest, I'm not a follower of the 
sport. Not these days, thanks to 
Digital Cable and the fact that I 
get all the English soccer games 
every weekend (and indeed 
during the week - yaaaaayl). No. 
The point of all this is: a) to tell 
you about a game worth playing, 
regardless of whether or not 
you're a fan of the sport and, b) 
to send a request to all you lovely 
English developers out there: 
please make a Soccer Blitz game. 
There hasn't been one yet - at 
least, not one that works as well 
as NFL Blitz. 

Think about it. It could be 
brilliant. Super-bendy shots, fast 
running, Ince-esque tackles, the 
ability to shoulder charge, do 
loony overhead kicks and headers, 
and all that kind of stuff. I'm 
talking about a proper, endorsed 
arcade football game that really 
delivers the goods. A game 
with realistic, motion-captured 
players who can jump, spin and 
hold off other players, great Al, 
comprehensive tactics and 
formation menus, but with 
players who have just enough 
superhuman powers to make 
the game larger than life. I want 
to be able to make Owen blow 
Schmeichel through the back of 
the net with a superfast shot. I 
want to see Beckham curving 
delicate but insanely bendy chips 
into the top corner of the net. 
And to counter this, I want to be 
able to make David Seaman leap 
like a salmon to palm a ball over 
the bar. Obviously, balancing the 
illegal stuff while ensuring the 
game still plays excellent football 
would be quite tricky, but not 
insurmountable by any stretch. 

Surely a game like this would 
be a winner? Soccer (sorry) is the 
world's most popular sport and, 
assuming the game was great, it'd 
sell like hotcakes. So, please, 0k 
make one. Somebody? *•* 

■ Julian is editor-in-chief of 
Imagine Games Network 
(, the most 
popular collection of gaming 
sites on the Internet. 



It's time to meet 
Japan's hardcore 
gaming corps... 

or those who no- 
it absolutely must 
have the very 
latest in videogames 
hardware and software, 
Japan's the only place to be. 
But the life of a dedicated 
game otaku (that's 
"fanatic" to you and me) is 
not an easy one. Not least 
because there's some 
pretty serious competition 
out there, with everyone 
vying to be first on their 
street with the really cool 
stuff. This is a country 
where the tectonic plates 
are forever rocking and 
sliding to the stomping of 
feet, all heading in the 
direction of Tokyo's best 
gaming stores. 

To qualify for recruitment in 
Japan's hardcore gaming corps, 
you need to be prepared. You'll 
need a wallet stuffed with Yen, 
the stamina of a Sumo wrestler, 
and - perhaps most importantly 
of all - a healthy respect for the 
obsessive geekiness of your 
fellow otaku. Never underestimate 
your rival: while you're rolling out 
of bed mid-morning, bleary eyed 
after a Final Fantasy VII all-nighter, 
he's been camped outside a 
games store for hours (perhaps 
days) with a pair of Metal Gear 
Solid night-vision goggles and a 
Princess Toadstool Thermos flask, 
in anticipation of the release of a 
new SquareSoft mouse mat. 
These guys are hardcore. 
The fact is that Japan is full of 
videogame junkies all of whom 
would have the average Western 
psychologist reaching under the 
desk for a panic button. These are 
the guys who, just recently, shifted 
hell and high water to make sure 
they got their hands on Sega's 
Dreamcast on its 27 November 
release date. And it was no mean 
feat. As with most new consoles 
or big game launches, Sega 
instigated a prebooking system 
for Dreamcast over a month 
before its launch date. This initially 
allowed for a day-one ship-out 
of 200,000 units, but was 
immediately scaled back to just 
100,000 when a manufacturing 
problem arose, resulting in all 
prebooking being stopped within 
two days. It meant - and still 

means - that Dreamcast is 
currently a very hot property 
in Japan indeed. 

But even the level of hysteria 
Dreamcast has generated is as 
nothing compared to the mayhem 
that used to occur in Japan's 
golden days of videogaming. Back 
when Nintendo ruled the roost 
with its 8-bit NES and 16-bit Super 
NES systems in the late '80s and 
early '90s (known as the Famicom 
and Super Famicom here in Japan), 
an RPG series called Dragon Quest 
would bring the Tokyo streets to a 
standstill with the release of each 
new installment. In 1992, when 
the fifth saga was unleashed to 
its army of fervent fans, a queue 
of 12,000 nutters waited patiently 
outside the branch of one 
electronics store, the line winding 
its way through Ikebukuro's 
streets for an incredible 5km. 
Several muggings of people 
who'd bought the game and 
were on their way home were 
reported to police. 

This month's release of one 
of the best and most eagerly 
anticipated games of all time - 
Zelda: Ocarina of Time, for the 
N64 - harks back to such times, 
but lacks quite the fervour of the 
old days. After all, legend has it 
that when its 16-bit predecessor, 
the classic Zelda: A Link to the 
Past, was released back in 1991 
(exactly seven years to the day 
before the new 3D version), one 
hapless fan, who'd failed to bag a 
copy on the day, took revenge on 
a friend who had by torching his 
house. To the ground. Somehow 
it's difficult to see Nintendo's 
now-diminished status in Japan 
commanding such insanity again, 
no matter how good the game. 

Indeed, the fact is that gaming 
in Japan is now a far more civilised 
pastime than it used to be, but 
demand still regularly outstrips 
supply. And so we come back 
to the current Dreamcast scarcity. 
With all the prebookable 
machines long since prebooked, 
it seems that for those of us 
who weren't quite quick enough 
off the mark, getting hold of 
a Dreamcast is going to be a 
waiting game. In fact, short of 
mugging a freshly recruited 
Dreamcaster on the streets of 
Akihabara, my chances of having 
Sega's new box under the telly 
for a week or two are looking 
desperately slim. 

Maybe I've got to face it: J^ 
I'm just not hardcore enough. J** 

■ Jason is an ex-editor of 
Edge magazine and spends 
his time in Japan and the US. 



The unstoppable 
thrill of the hunt 

merica, Christmas, 
1997: Riven, sequel 
to My st, the best- 
selling PC game of 
all time, is sent to the shops 
by the truckload. The over- 
sized Kenworths and 
Freightliners behind it 
are filled with Quake II - 
another million-seller in 
the making. The pundits 
are predicting a scrap of 
titanic proportions for the 
number one chart position. 
And then something 
happens that no-one 
predicted. As the results 
roll in for January, it's 
clear that something has 
gone horribly wrong. The 
number one spot is actually 
occupied by a game called 
Deer Hunter. Nobody has a 
clue as to why this should 
be - especially the press. 

In England, we generally like 
our beer and our deer warm. 
Here in the States, people like 
both ice cold - but even that 
doesn't quite explain the success 
of WizardWorks' Deer Hunter, or 
the ten million me-too hunting 
games that have since found their 
way to the shelves, ferried not by 
trucks this time, but an enormous 
bandwagon (presumably with a 
trophy buck strapped to the grille). 
To date, the original Deer Hunter 
has sold over one million units, 
and been featured all over the 
place, notably in Newsweek 
magazine. Sales of the sequel, 
Deer Hunter 2, are expected to 
be just as bloated. However 
technically crude they might be, 
these games clearly have a mass 
appeal that no-one else has 
managed to tap into. And right 
now just about everyone, from 
Interplay to Activision to 
edutainment companies like 
Simon and Schuster, is trying to 
figure out just what that appeal 
is. And so am I, quite frankly. 
But thinking about it, and 
talking to people, I figure I've got 
it down to three common traits. 
The first thing Deer Hunter and 
its imitator hunting games have in 
common, short of dead animals, 
is low system requirements. As PC 
games become ever more greedy 
for powerful graphics technology, 
the likes of Deer Hunter and 
African Safari require nothing of 
your hardware but a CD-ROM 
drive, a Pentium processor and a 

couple of megabytes of hard 
drive space. Your word processor 
probably requires more from your 
system than a hunting game, 
and it's this that makes them 
eminently accessible. Suddenly 
all those people who refuse to 
upgrade their PC every year have 
something they can play. 

The second thing that unites 
the genre is that the games 
are all incredibly easy - and 
interminably dull. You don't have 
to be Thresh to score well in Deer 
Hunter. All that's required of you 
is a willingness to sit in front of 
your monitor for hours on end, 
occasionally clicking the mouse 
to fire off a shot at a badly drawn 
representation of Bambi's mum. 
You may also have to follow a trail 
of droppings. The lesson here is 
that if you want to appeal to the 
masses, keep it simple. 

Finally, these games talk to 
the audience in a language it 
understands. Sierra's Field and 
Stream Trophy Buck carries a 
license of the outdoor sports 
magazine of the same name. Its 
Web site features links to loads 
of hunting sites - but, tellingly, no 
other videogame-related sites. It 
all goes to show that the mass 
market may play the occasional 
videogame, but that the people 
involved just don't consider 
themselves gamers. Click on the 
"Mr Whitetail" link on the Trophy 
Buck site and you get a photo- 
gallery of dead deer. There's 
clearly little that's more appealing 
to the millions of heavily armed 

In the end, the reason the 
"mainstream" - as we laughingly 
call them - software houses have 
such a problem understanding 
the appeal of the game is that 
they're not, in fact, used to 
selling to a mainstream audience. 
Videogamers, particularly PC 
gamers, are largely enthusiasts, 
and they're a very different breed. 
The people that buy Deer Hunter 
are not the same people who buy 
Quake. They certainly don't buy 
games magazines, so they've no 
idea that the mags routinely score 
their beloved games with the 
same enthusiasm the hapless 
deer reserves for a .458 bullet 
And nor do they care. They are 
outside the system, and they 
don't worry about graphics, or 
sound quality or frame-rates or 
any of the other things hardcore 
gamers care about. And there 
are millions of these people. 

And it's for this reason Deer 
Hunter is much more important 
than it might look. If gaming is 
genuinely going to become an 
entertainment medium for the 
masses, we need more games 
with this sort of appeal. In Europe 
it probably won't be about deer 
hunting, but what about pub 
quizzes, or - even better - canal- 
bank fishing, the most popular 
participation sport in the UK? This 
pastime has all the essentials - 
no need for fine graphics, simple 
controls, plenty of sitting around 
staring at an unchanging screen. 
It could be absolutely huge. ML 
And you read it here first. ^"4 

■ Simon is executive editor 
of San Francisco's Next 
Generation magazine. 

January) 1 999 1 Arcade | 27 

28 1 Arcade I January 1 1999 

Virtual Fox 

January | 1 999 1 Arcade 1 29 



"I think the Spectrum 

scene today!' 

Clive Sinclair, London, November 1998 


Interview by | Mark Green 

Sir Clive Sinclair 

The ubiquitous inventor on the enduring popularity of his Sinclair Spectrum, the 
rubbishness of PCs, and why self -flying electric planes are in all of our futures 

H hat's Sir Clive Sinclair 
best known for in this 
country? Many readers 
of Arcade would no 
doubt suggest the 
Sinclair Spectrum, his seminal 8-bit, 
rubber-keyed home computer of 
yesteryear. Most men in the street 
would probably point, with a 
suppressed snigger, to the frankly 
embarrassing C5, his electric buggy 
of the mid '80s. News of the World 
readers might mention Sir Clive's 
unlikely reputation as a ladies' man. 
Everyone, however, would agree 
that he was big in the 1980s, but the 
'90s just ain't been his decade. 

But now he's back. And, perhaps 
surprisingly, still concentrating on 
his personal Moby Dick, the electric 
vehicle. We met at a swish London 
penthouse near King's Cross, while 
David Bailey photographed top-of- 
the-range models downstairs... 

So, what are you working on at the 
moment. Sir Clive? 

It's an ultra-light bicycle that you can fold 
up and carry about, which is actually a lot 
harder to make than you'd think. I'm 
generally very interested in transport - 
I can see it going all electric over the 
next few decades. The public is growing 
increasingly aware of pollution, and highly 
efficient cars will start to be in heavy 
demand - the big car companies are 
already investing in electric cars, because 
the benefits are so great. After that, it's 
electric planes and electric airships. I'm 
very interested in flight, always have 
been. I like to try and make things that I 
think won't happen unless I do them. 

So you've lost interest in computers 
completely, then? 

Not at all. We're thinking a lot about a 
new one, but one of the elements that's 
necessary to make it isn't available yet. 
Once I've got that, we can get cracking. 

So will it be a Spectrum for the '90s? 

Yes and no. It'll be a portable PC. At the 
moment, portables are plugged into your 
main computer when you get home. 

Mine will be designed like the Spectrum 
- ubiquitous and much more convenient. 
You won't need another PC, it will do 
everything you need. 

Convenient? So it won't use 
Windows, then... 

No, I'll use something new. Windows is so 
cumbersome, it restricts the computer 
and slows down the whole process. The 
"modern" PC as a whole is such a clumsy 
design, it's terrible. We really need to 
break out of that in a big way. 

The thing is, right at the beginning of 
computing, when everything was fresh, 
all sorts of ideas were being explored 
that got pushed to one side. Lots of 
them were golden ideas, which we 
intend to now revisit, polish up and use. 

Let's rewind back to those 
beginnings. I've heard that you were 
a bit miffed when the Spectrum 
ended up as a games machine, and 
not so much an all-round computer? 
Not at all. We didn't intend it to happen 
that way, but we knew people wanted 
games, and that's where it went. In fact, I 
think that the Spectrum single-handedly 
created the games scene today. I'm sad 
that there isn't a machine like it now, one 
that people can easily program for and 
experiment with. Certainly, if you start 
having millions of keys and fiddly bits, it's 
daunting for people and they'll never use 
it. It needs to be approachable. 

Of course, if I was launching it today, 
I clearly wouldn't do a computer that 
plugged into your TV and loaded games 
from tape, but at the time the Spectrum 
met a need, and many millions were sold. 

The Spectrum's built up a bit of a 
cult following, actually... 

Yes, I'm on the Internet now, so I'm aware 
of that. I think it's a good thing - people 
should do what they enjoy. It was a 
golden age, and it's good that people 
realise what it was like and remember it, 
so we can pursue that kind of era again. 

Why didn't America buy into the 

We were selling more computers in the 
USA than everyone else combined. Until 
Timex, who we'd distributed through up 
until then, got the Spectrum license and 
decided that they knew better than us. 
They spent a year redesigning it, mucked 
it up, and lost the market. 

Later we sold out to Amstrad. The 
whole market had got into financial 

■ In 1967, a balding red- 
haired inventor from 
Cambridge kick-started 
his career with a tiny, 
matchbox-size radio. It 
didn't do much, but it's 
what came next that 
really matters. First 
a company: Sinclair 
Research Ltd. Then 
a stream of cheap, 
lightweight electrical 
gear: pocket calculators 
and portable TVs. Then, 
in the early 1980s, the 
range of affordable 
home computers that 
would make Clive 
Sinclair's name: the 
ZX80, the ZX81 and, of 
course, the classic ZX 
Spectrum. For a while 
they were everywhere, 
earning their creator 
nationwide adulation 
and a knighthood. 

Then, catastrophe. 
The more expensive, 
business-orientated QL 
computer and terribly 
received C5 electric 
vehicle (the famous 
small white trike that 
looked like a bad idea to 
everyone but Sir Clive) 
lost him a fortune, and 
by 1987 Sir Clive had 
sold his computer firm 
to Amstrad. A short- 
lived portable PC, the 
Z88, was all that was 
heard from him until 
1991, by which time 
Clive had turned his 
attention to electric 
vehicles. So far, there's 
been the Zeta, a little 
box that adds electrical 
assistance to push-bikes, 
and a proper electric 
bike, the Zike. He also 
tinkers with an in-the- 
ear radio, the XL 

difficulty - not just us, everybody. But I 
didn't have any regrets, because by then 
computing had become stagnant. My 
job has always been in innovation and 
change, not commodities. And my hobby 
was never playing with computers. 

You don't play games then? 

No, but I know a little bit about what's 
happening. It's very much as I expected it 
would go. Indeed, in some ways it hasn't 
got as far as I'd expected. Graphics will go 
on improving, for example. 

But you're quite into artificial 
intelligence, aren't you? 

Yes. It's not being pursued as much as it 
should be, but I'm astonished by things 
like Creatures. That's fantastic. Very 
soon you're going to see little robots 
based on that technology, pets or 
something like that, which will behave 
intelligently and which you can talk to. 
People won't be able to tell the 
difference between real and artificial 
intelligence in a few decades. 

What about Virtual Reality? 

That's actually really disturbing and 
daunting. When you come out of a VR 
world, you're not quite sure what's reality 
and what isn't. 

It hasn't really taken off though, and 
I'm very puzzled by that. Companies like 
British Aerospace are experimenting with 
it, but it's so computer intensive that the 
ordinary PC can't do it. In order to make it 
available to the public, you'll need some 
very radical technology. It is possible. I'd 
be very interested in using it for games, 
but I would be slightly worried that 
people might get lost in it. 

But transport's your real thing. 
Electric planes and so on. And 
after that...? 

Personal planes. Once you have GPS 
[Global Positioning Systems] you can have 
totally automised planes that take you 
where you want to go by themselves. 
Then there'll be space travel for 
individuals, within ten or 20 years. 

■ Sir Clive's current project is a JjL 
lightweight folding bicycle. *»» 

January | 1 999 | Arcade 1 31 


$$1?$ IfiBHSKfiiBRlHi BrHBH 






GAME, IT'S 1000 AND 



9E KSInU! 




PARK ^5 


• • 

' K 

January | 1999 1 Arcade 1 33 


Park Life 





Follow the boys round their home town... 

■ Considering it had just six months to start and finish programming the South 
Park game, developer Iguana has pulled off a very faithful TV-to-videogame 
conversion. The move to 3D hasn't affected the characters' appeal one bit, and 
the violence, swearing, farting and baby-kicking is all here in digitised form. 



■ 1) Terrance over there packs quite a 
fart, we'd imagine. And that chicken's 
just asking for a taste of Cartman's 
big gun. 2) As fun and enticing as it 
looks, snowballing the vehicles and 
buildings has no effect. But feel free 
to attack South Park Elementary 
anyway. 3) Big Gay Al acting strange. 
Yes, even stranger than usual. 
4) Mr Garrison looks so innocent, it's 
almost painful to have to fire off a 
cow and watch it sit and wriggle on 
his head. Almost. 

■ 5) It's amazing how much damage 
a chicken's ass can do. One of the boss 
characters buys the big one. 6) The 
auto-targeting function on the cow 
launcher ensures your bovine friend 
hits the spot every time. 7) The multi- 
player game in action. Terrance says, 
"I fart on your grave!" 8) Aww. A cute 
little bear cub. About to eat snow. Just 
one of the reasons why this game is 
"pretty fucked up." 9) Bad turkeys. 
You'll see too much of them. 

34 1 Arcade | January 1 1999 

c all know South 
Park, of course - from 
its Channel 4 run, 
from the on-going late 
night Sky broadcasts 
of the second series, 
from the countless 
T-shirts, greetings 
cards, cuddly toys, 
and numerous pub 
bores recounting all 
the very best bits ad 
infinitum. (And South Park really is 
one you have to see to appreciate - 
any random lines sound like just, well, 
filth. Which, of course, they are.) But 
even if you haven't seen the thing, you 
must recognise the South Park boys' 
chubby faces - Kyle, Stan, the hapless 
Kenny and the repulsive, moon-faced 
Cartman. A videogame was, of course, 
only a matter of time. 

Or, to be accurate, a whole bunch of 
videogames. Acclaim Entertainment 
picked up rights to the show a while back 
- smart move, boys - and set different 
teams to work on it. There's the Nintendo 
64 model, developed by Iguana in the US 
using the Turok2 engine, and the first to 
reach completion. It'll be released early in 
February '99. but we've already played it - 
you can read the world exclusive review 
on page 142. The PC game is created by 
the same team, will offer a similar gaming 
experience (the emphasis is, again, very 
much on shooting things), and you can 
check out the first screenshots on the left. 

For your information, there's also a 
PlayStation version further off. plus an 
entirely different Game Boy Color game 
by a UK developer, and a different-again 
game for PC and PlayStation tentatively 
titled A Week in South Park. But if we start 
going on about any of those, it'll really 
complicate matters... 

But first, the South Park back- 
story. And I'm sorry, but I'm going 
to have to start off with a bit of a 
boast. I've been a fan of South Park 
since before the series started. You 
see. 18 months ago I was visited by 
the good people of Epic Megagames. in 
town to show off the latest build of their 
shooter Unreal. As they installed it on my 
PC. the guys decided to pass the time by 
showing me a little something extra that 
they'd burned on to the Unreal CD: a short 
cartoon called The Spirit of Christmas. 
The quality wasn't good - it had obviously 
been digitised from an umpteenth- 
generation video copy - but the cartoon 
itself was hilarious. 

In it, Jesus came to Earth and enlisted 
the help of four children - Stan, Kyle. 
Kenny and Cartman - to find Santa and 
kill him for blemishing the meaning of 
Christmas. And in the ensuing battle, one 
of the children. Kenny, was decapitated. 
After an intervention by iconic gay ice 
skater Brian Boitano. the whole situation 
was resolved and the true meaning of 
Christmas revealed (it's getting given 
presents, of course). The thing was utterly 
blasphemous, the language was foul, the 
animation was third-rate at best - and I 
loved it. When the Megagames guys went 

on their way, I was happy for them to 
delete Unreal - but I insisted on keeping a 
copy of the weird little cartoon. 

Yes. it was an early version of South 
Park. The story behind it went something 
like this: Two film students from the 
University of Colorado. Matt Stone and 
Trey Parker, once made a cartoon called 
Jesus Vs Frosty, where some kids made a 
snowman that came to life and went 
berserk, killing folk left, right and centre 
until Jesus turned up and saved the day. 
This cartoon came to the attention of 
some executives at America's still fairly 
new Fox Network, who commissioned 
Matt and Trey to make a similar short to 
be sent out as a Christmas card. And thus 
The Spirit of Christmas was created. The 
"cards" were sent out and went down a 
storm: legend has it that George Clooney 
made 300 copies of the animation to give 
to his friends. It was an instant cult hit. 
and inevitable that it would mutate into 
a series sooner or later. That it happened 
sooner, on the cable channel Comedy 
Central, is now the stuff of TV history. 

As a town, South Park is majorly 
fucked up. The chief of police is a 
moron, the mayor is a publicity 
obsessed narcissist and the people 
themselves are plain weird. In fact, 
it's just like real small-town USA. 
except for the volcanoes, giant robot 
Barbra Streisands. zombies, mutant 
turkeys and the presence of Our Lord 
Jesus Christ as a public access TV 
agony uncle. Seen through the eyes of 
four eight-year-olds with problems of 
their own (one of them scheduled to 
die in an amusing way every week), it 
all seems perfectly natural. Well, almost 

In actual fact, it's as off-beat as the 
bizarre Primus theme music suggests, 
it's as offensive as a TV show can get 
without actually libelling anyone 
(although the Streisand episode is a 
close call) and it's packed with subtle 
jokes and references guaranteed to 

South Park is majorly 
fucked up. The chief of 
police is a moron, the 
mayor is a publicity- 
obsessed narcissist and 
the people are weird 





please a generation that practically lives 
with its finger poised on the video "pause" 
button. It's struck a pretty loud chord in 
the USA (and more strangely, considering 
its heavyweight use of obscure cultural 
stuff, everywhere else in the world that it's 
been aired) and celebrities are queuing 
up for guest roles. We've heard George 
Clooney as Sparky the gay dog. Jay Leno 
as Cartman's cat (Kitty). Robert Smith of 
The Cure as Robert Smith of The Cure 
(and a giant robot moth), and the regular 
presence of soul man Isaac Hayes as Chef. 
the kids' mentor. It's a popular show. okay. 

Strange then, that for such a popular 
series it has so few viewers, at least in the 
USA. For a start, it's only on Comedy 
Central (none of the major networks 
would touch something so potentially 
offensive), which not many people can 
receive. Viewing figures are minimal - 
around the five million mark - at least 
before the extensive on-line viewing 
audience is taken into account. 

Yes. despite the fact that not that 
many people actually watched it. word 
about South Park spread, and it wasn't 
long before public-spirited viewers took 
to digitising entire episodes and posting 
them on the Internet. That's how I saw 
most of the first series before it had 
even aired on Sky. let alone Channel 4. 
Of course, that's all changed now: in 
recent weeks Comedy Central has 


January | 1 999 | Arcade 1 35 



Howdy, neighbour!" 

If you're going down to South Park, you need to meet the guys... 

■ The denizens of South Park are a pretty eclectic bunch. The world revolves around the lives of 
the most unpleasant eight-year-old third-graders that you could ever meet, and the people who 
impact on their lives. Alongside Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny and Wendy - Stan's vomit-dodging 
love interest - there's the soulful Chef, and a supporting cast of relatives, teachers, cops and turds. 
Oh, and did we mention the Son of God yet? 


■ If the South Park gang has a leader then it's 
Stan. Quarterback for the school football team, 
the South Park Cows, he's plagued by his 
psychotic sister Shelley, and discovered the 
natural beauty of being gay when it turned 
out that his dog Sparky, played by George 
Clooney, was homosexual. 
Most likely to say: "Oh my God! They killed 


■ Kyle's the smart one. Plagued by an 
interfering mother and a feeling that there's 
something wrong with him because he's 
Jewish, he's been locked up in a mental 
hospital for being a depressive faecalphiliac on 
Prozac. But he's also managed to get an 
elephant to make love to a pig, 
Most likely to say: "You bastards!" 


■ Cartman's the fat, spoilt one. Stupid, bad- 
tempered and addicted to Cheesy Poofs, he's 
been abducted by aliens, sent to Ethiopia by 
mistake, shot at and ridiculed on America's 
Stupidest Home Videos. His mother's a dirty 
slut, but does that excuse his dressing up as 
Hitler for Hallowe'en? 

Most likely to say: "Yeah, I want Cheesy 

■ Kenny's family is very poor, and so God is 
determined to punish them for that by killing 
Kenny on a regular basis. He's been trampled 
by cows, cut in half with a chainsaw, crushed 
by the Mir space station, frozen, microwaved 
and touched by Death. He also has a foul 
mouth on him, if you listen to what he says. 
Most likely to say: "Mmph mph mm-mm 

■ When the kids need advice, they always go 
to Chef, voiced by Isaac Hayes. Chef tries to 
help them out by singing them a song, usually 
about making sweet love down by the fire. 
This rarely helps, but soulful old Chef often 
comes through in the end. Look out for the 
Chef Aid album, out around now and reviewed 
on page 159 this issue. 
Most likely to say: Oh, fudge!" 

■ As teachers go, Mr Garrison shouldn't. A 
typical lesson at South Park elementary might 
consist of a discussion about which TV soap 
stars are dating each other. Eagle-eyed viewers 
will notice that his blackboard is often worth 
reading, especially when there's something 
potentially slanderous written on it. 
Most likely to say: "You go to hell! You go 
to hell and you die!" 

■ Mr Garrison's best friend in the world is a 
glove puppet. With an alcohol problem and a 
psychopathic streak a mile wide. That's really 
all you need to know. 
Most likely to say: "KILL THE BITCH!" 


■ Stan's girlfriend manages to maintain a 
relationship with him even though he vomits 
every time she talks to him. Smart but jealous, 
she had the school substitute teacher fired into 
the sun by Iraqis in order to keep her man. 
Most likely to say: "Eeeew! Barf is gross!" 

■ Stan's uncle runs the South Park gun shop, 
and spends his spare time hunting. His entire 
attitude to hunting is that if it moves, shoot it, 
regardless of whether it's a deer or not; it's 
nice and legal even if the shot animal is a 
protected species, just so long as it poses an 
immediate threat. 
Most likely to say: "It's coming right at us!" 

■ The final episode of the first season of 
South Park says it all: Cartman's mom is a dirty 
slut. So, who is Eric Cartman's father? Sky 
viewers will already know that one; an answer 
that simply raises a further question that we 
won't spoil by answering it here. Also seen on 
the cover of Crack Whore magazine. 
Most likely to say: "Do you want Cheesy 
Poofs, hon?" 

■ Uncle Jimbo's war buddy has one arm and 
a synthetic voice box; it's not quite enough to 
stop him bursting into song if the occasion 
demands it. His rendition of "Kumbaya" is 
enough to bring a tear to your eye. 
Most likely to say (when covered in 
burning petrol): "Ow. Ow. It hurts." 

■ South Park's answer to law enforcement 
drives a squad car with the phrase "To 
patronise and annoy" stencilled on the door 
Illiterate and utterly stupid, his stubborn 
arrogance makes up for his shortcomings. 
Most likely to say: "Move along, none of 
this is happening!" 


■ Do you believe in Mr Hankey? As everyone 
in South Park knows, Mr Hankey the Christmas 
poo comes out of the toilet every year and 
brings presents to everyone who has a lot of 
fibre in their diet, regardless of their religion. 
Just don't let him kiss you. 
Most likely to say: "Howdy ho!" 

■ South Park's only English kid is forced to 
pay for his strange accent and odd Dickensian 
garments by being spurned and abused by just 
about everybody. He briefly found himself a 
friend in another outsider Damien (spawn of 
Beelzebub), until Damien realised that the way 
to get everyone to like him was to abuse Pip. 
Most likely to say: "I'll pay $50 for one!" 

■ Every town should have its very own mad 
scientist, and that's Mephesto's. His main line 
of business is genetic engineering - creating 
animals with four arses - but he also came in 
useful when DNA tests were required to 
discover the identity of Cartman's father. 
Most likely to say: "Perhaps I shouldn't be 
toying with God's creations!" 

■ Canada's hottest comedy duo are essential 
viewing for the kids of South Park. Their show 
consists of them farting on each other. Though 
their show got banned, thanks to the efforts 
of Kyle's mother, it didn't stop them coming 
back for a half-hour April Fool special, Not 
Without My Anus. 
Most likely to say: "You asshole!" 

■ After appearing in both of the original short 
cartoons that spawned South Park, it was 
inevitable that Jesus would turn up in the 
series. Here he hosts his own public access TV 
show, probably the best way to help people 
with their problems. 

Most likely to say: "Hello caller? You're on 
the air." 

36 1 Arcade | January 1 1999 

started threatening Web sites with legal 
action if they don't remove their episodes. 
So now the only way to see South Park is 
to watch it on TV. or buy the videos. 

And while you're at the shop buying 
those videos, you'll probably want to pick 
up some of the mountains of other South 
Park clobber. These goods have easily 
overtaken perennial merchandising fave 
The Simpsons. You can wear the T-shirt, 
cuddle the soft toy. shove the key-ring in 
your pocket, drink your coffee out of the 
mug. keep your head warm with the hat. 
listen to the CD and save the rest of your 
money to buy a new house in which to 
put all the other merchandise. Sweet. 

Oh. and play the game, of course. 

In concept. South Park on PC is best 
described as a sort of comedy Doom. 
and is essentially the same game as 
South Park on Nintendo 64 (reviewed 
this issue) - and. indeed. South Park 
on PlayStation, due by May/June '99. 
(There is another, completely different 
game based on the TV show, tentatively 
titled A Week in South Park, it's under 
development in the US by an outfit called 
Dreamforge. as well as a possible Game 
Boy Color game by a bunch of ex-Probe 
programmers called Crawfish. Both are 
to be published by Acclaim in '99. We'll 
have more details in a later issue.) But 
first to bat is the Iguana version. In it. a 
comet is on a direct collision course with 
Earth - aimed right at South Park. The 
proximity of the comet has caused many 
of the locals to act even more strangely 
than they do normally. The turkeys on 
level one will try and kill you. Cartman's 
mother has been kidnapped by aliens. Big 
Gay Al has gone bezerk. 

All this, however, is merely an excuse 
to run around attacking each other. As 
with the Nintendo 64 version, it's the 
multi-player option on PC South Park 
that provides most of the laughs. Each 
of the four main Park boys are armed 
with comedy weapons, and - something 
that really helps make the game - an 
entire episode-full of sound bites. When 
hit by a snowball, for instance, each guy 
will yell one of his trademark expletives. 
Get the projectiles flying thick and fast, 
get the volume turned up. and it sounds 
just like the TV show. 

"I think we've created a really funny, 
enjoyable, entertaining game," grins 
Iguana's Neill Glancy. its designer. "It 
really does feel like you're in a kind of 
virtual South Park. Both Matt and Trey 
got very involved with its development. 
They looked at all our character design 
work and animation, and worked on the 
game's speech script themselves. And. of 
course, they recorded dialogue." 

Deciding what sort of approach 
should be taken with the game was 
probably the hardest part of the whole 
project. Neill reveals. 

"South Park is an eclectic title, and 
took some careful thinking for us to 
translate it into a videogame. All your 
favourite characters are in there. The four 
kids are, of course, playable, as well as 20 
extra characters including Big Gay Al. 
Ned. Jimbo. Barbrady. Pip. Starvin' 

Marvin. Mrs Cartman. Chef. Mr Garrison 
and so on. Perhaps essentially, we wanted 
to capture the bizarre and unpredictable 
nature of the show in the game's gadgets 
and gizmos. I mean, what else gives you a 
cow launcher as a weapon?" 

And he's got a point. But what about 
Matt and Trey? Are they really gamers? 

"I know for a fact that both of them 
are." confirms Neill. "Well, when they have 
time, that is. Whenever I had meetings 
with them to talk about the Nintendo 
version, we'd just end up going on about 
the current hot games instead. They liked 
Unreal. Quake, and Need for Speed 3." 

Suddenly the reasons behind making 
South Park a Turok/GoldenEye/Quake- 
style deathmatch become clear. 

So what's next for South Park! 
Inevitably, there's a film, due for a 
US release in April. Matt and Trey 
have already appeared at the 
cinema as stars of the live-action 
comedy flop BASEketballia Daryl 
Zucker film, in which the boys invent a 
cross between baseball and basketball in 
their backyard, and it takes over the whole 
world), and there's talk of getting a release 
for some of their old film school projects, 
but South Park: The Movie is the big one. 
Chances are the film will take advantage 
of its likely 18 certificate. Matt and Trey 
are adamant that it will really have to 
push the envelope of acceptability, which 
means - for one thing - you can expect 
the kids to be a lot more foul-mouthed 
than they are on telly. No more pussy- 
footing around with such light- 
hearted family-orientated subjects 
as bestiality, homosexuality, 
cannibalism, alien abduction, 
euthanasia and conjoined foetuses: the 
movie is bound to get as near to the 
knuckle as you can hope for without 
losing a multitude of fingers. 
Hopefully it'll be just like The Spirit of 
Christmas, only 85 minutes longer. 
In the meantime, of course, there's 

The turkeys on level 
one will try and kill 
you. Cartman's mother 
has been kidnapped by 
aliens. Big Gay Al has 
gone bezerk 




always the TV original. According to our 
well-thumbed copy of the Radio Times. 
South Park is - as we're going to press - 
being shown only on Sky One. (There's an 
episode shown at 11pm each Sunday 
evening, which is then repeated at 10pm 
on Monday.) In the New Year. Channel 4 
will start airing series two on terrestrial 
TV - May is the current guesstimate - but 
you can still expect it to be on pretty late 
at night, on account of all the swearing. 
And anal probes. Alternatively if you want 
to catch up on missed episodes on video, 
perhaps the best one to buy is South 
Park: Volume One. which features a good 
introductory pairing. "Cartman Gets An 
Anal Probe" and "Volcano." 

One thing we're certain of: if you've 
never seen South Park, but are intrigued 
by the game, we reckon you should take 
^ a crash course in the show first. After 

all. this really is one where much of the 

fun comes from laughing at the 
characters, and at their obscenities - 

and probably even shouting back at the 

screen. But if you don't find "You turkey 
bastards!" or "This is pretty fucked up 

right here!" intrinsically funny, perhaps 

you'd better pass... 

■ Travis is a regular contributor to 
Arcade. Our review of the N64 South 
Park is on page 142; Trey Parker A. 
speaks over the page. JWk 

January | 1 999 1 Arcade 1 37 



Trey Parker - the straw-haired 
one from the Matt Stone/Trey 
Parker duo that's currently the 
toast of half of Hollywood, anti- 
Christ to the other - slumps into 
the room, hair strewn all over. 
\ This is the mind behind Cannibal! 
. The Musical, a film which he made 
by borrowing money and talent from 
friends and family. Then there's the 
soon-to-be-cult-classic Orgazmo, 
one in which a Mormon spreading the 
word stumbles across a porn shoot 
and becomes a star; the upcoming 
South Park movie; and, of course, the 
games. Slouched in front of me, in a 
green oversized shirt he plans to wear 
on fay Leno's Tonight Show in a few 
hours, he says he gets by by ignoring 
his fame as much as possible. 

What's funny to you. Trey? 

I find everything sort of funny. 
Especially when we're doing South 
Park, where we Ye taking something 
that really shouldn't be funny and we 
play with it. because everything's got a 
funny side eventually. 

Absolutely anything? 

Well, what's so interesting about 
humour is that people view it in such a 
wrong way: people get so offended 
because they think that if you're 
laughing at something, you hate it. If I 
laugh at a Mormon, they think I hate 
Mormons because I'm belittling 
Mormons, and it's so untrue. Every 
Mormon I've ever met is a great 
person, I totally respect them. My first 
girlfriend was a Mormon! But I can 
laugh at them and they can laugh at 
me. It doesn't mean when I laugh at 
you that I think you're stupid. 

So what about the South Park episode 
where Barbra Streisand ends up as a 
giant robot, and is referred to as a 
"psychotic, evil mega bitch"? 

To me. that is so specifically anti- 
Barbra Streisand, and so over the top. 

that that's what makes the joke. It's 
funny, because we're going so far out 
of our way to make fun of her. You 
know what. I've never met Barbra 
Streisand. I really don't know what 
she's like as a person. I don't hate her. 
But it's funny to say that you do. 

South Park has become so huge, so 
quickly. What do you make of all the 
fan sites and other stuff that's 
appeared on the Internet? 

The coolest advice I got - and it was 
kind of early on. just when South Park 
was taking off- was from Mike Judge, 
creator of Beavis and Bullhead. He 
said. The biggest thing that you've got 
to learn now is to ignore all press." 

So why are you here talking to me? 

Believe me. it's not by choice. 


No really, good press or bad press, it 
doesn't matter. He said. "Don't let the 
good press go to your head, because 
if you do the bad press will go to your 
heart." It's totally true. When South 
Park came out everybody loved it 
because we were nobodies, because 
we were one of them. Then South 
Park became huge and we became 
millionaires, and now everyone hates 
us. It's exactly what Mike said would 
happen. So we ignore it. 

But on the Internet, it's your fans who 
are talking, not just critics. What do 
you think about their comments? 

Yeah, but the only way to truly ignore 
it is to ignore it all. That's what I'm 
saying, it's sort of a Zen philosophy. 
If you get too far into the good stuff, 
then the bad stuff is going to hurt you. 
Before the show, both Matt and I were 
big computer freaks. But when it got 
to the point that no matter what we 
clicked on. there was a little thing of 
Cartman coming up. I swear to God. I 
got really turned off. I don't like going 
on the Internet any more. 

Is it because when you see stuff like 
that, you feel you're being ripped off? 

Not at all. We unleashed South Park 
on to the world, but it's sort of 
everybody's now. We get taken 
advantage of in much, much worse 
ways - like all the dolls and T-shirts 
that we don't see any money from. 

Do you feel yourselves under a lot 
of pressure to push things further 
and further with each episode? 

I guess there is something of that 
feeling. But. you know, we've never sat 
down and thought. "So. what offensive 
thing can we do this week?" Instead, 
we've always started from a place 
where it's more like. "All right, what's 
another third grade story we can 
remember?" And I would say to Matt 
something like. "The biggest thing that 
happened to me in third grade was 
that my dog ran away." and he'd say. 
"Okay, what if we made the dog gay?" 
And a whole episode would sort of 
stem from there. 

And you never worry about running 
out of ideas? 

Of course we'll run out of stuff. But it 
might take a while. As long as society 
is going the way it's going, there'll 
always be a few more things to throw 
in. The way it is. we're sort of locked 
into South Park for a while, which is 
fine, because we love doing it. But 
when anything else interesting comes 
about, we try and do that too. 

There are lots of gay references in the 
show. Of the South Park kids, which 
one is most likely to grow up gay? 

I think Stan, probably. He's more 
sensitive, and more in touch with 
love than anyone else. So I'd say it's 
probably him. 

And which of the little guys is most 
likely to be a serial killer? 

It's so obvious to say Cartman. 0k 
but oh. it's Kenny, definitely. *** 

38 1 Arcade | January | 1999 


"We've never sat down and thought, 'So, 
what offensive thing can we do this 
week?' Instead, we've always started from 
a place where it's more like, All right, 
what's another third grade story we can 
remember?' And I would say to Matt 
something like, 'The biggest thing tha^ 
happened to me in third grade was 
that my dog ran 

Trey Parker, on inspiration 

Trey Parker, right, with Matt 
Stone. "It didn't shock the hell out 
of us that people weren't ready to 
embrace us as Alec Baldwin," says 
Trey of their flop movie BASEketball. 
You don't say. 

Nell reckons it was 
her cropped head 
that got her noticed. 
We're not so sure. 









Tomb Raider's "reakf fe 
and why her men need 

he's very nice. That's 
the first thing anyone 
ever says to you about 
Nell McAndrew, and you 
know, I think they're 
probably right. Not for her the 
reported prima donnish behaviour 
exhibited by the last "real life Lara 
Croft", the sometime actress Rhona 
Mitre. Instead, the Leeds-born 24- 
year-old is infectiously friendly, 
eager to please - and she comes 
blessed, unfortunately, with the 
sort of Mel B accent that makes 
landing the lead in the upcoming 
Tomb Raider movie a longshot at 
best. "If they want me to be her, I'd 
better go for elocution lessons! 
Which I'm willing to do...," she says, 
and then starts laughing. We both 
know it's something that'll never 
happen, but it's a nice thought. 

What hoops did you have to jump 
through to get the part of Ms Croft? 
Did EIDOS make you prance around, 
pretending to be Lara? 

Yeah, with the guns and everything 
There were 150 girls up for it, and I didn't 
have any hair at the time, so I was 
amazed I got the job. But I was 
the right height, the right build, 
and they needed somebody 
would could do personal 
appearances, and get 
along with everybody. 

Lara Croft" on rubber outfits, damp seats, shaved heads 
a whole lot more to them than just nifty joypad skills 

I just knew it was something I could do. 
And it's great wearing the Lara outfit. It 
always makes me feel very powerful and 
strong - it's like, "Don't stand in my way!" 

Bit sticky though? 

Yeah! I get really hot and sweaty, and it's 
really not that attractive. I end up leaving 
little wet patches on every seat! And 
then they all fight over it! One time they 
wanted to auction off this damp chair, 
and I'm going, "Yuck, don't be so gross!" 
They've actually made me about 20 
of those rubber Lara outfits, all the same 
style, because I get through them so fast. 
They have to be rinsed through and then 
cleaned up each time I wear them. I'm 
supposed to be having a new design 


■ Nell's 24, she's from 
Leeds, and she is - for 
those who care about 
such things - 32D-25-36. 
(In other words, she's 
probably younger than 
Lara, certainly more 
northern, and slightly 
less stacked. But then, 
what woman isn't?) 
Inspired as a kid by the 
dancers on Top of the 
Pops, she signed with 
a Manchester modelling 
agent on a hair-dresser's 
prompting, worked at a 
bank for a year, then 
decided to "Sod it" and 
give full-time modelling 
a try. "| took a gamble 
really," she says. "The 
bank was good, but not 
forever," The early jobs 
weren't always great - 
things like giving out 
leaflets in the street - 
though she did rather 
enjoy dressing up in a 
shortie Santa suit at 
Leeds' Queen's Hotel. 
Then came work for 
Adidas and Next, the 
TV show Man O Man, 
a relocation to London, 
backing dancing for Lisa 
Marie, the shaved —4 
head, Lara - and wf 

made, actually, but I haven't seen it yet. 
What I'd really like to is the combat-pant- 
and-bra-top outfit from the new game - 
it looks much easier to wear. And I love 
the black Gucci bikini, too. I'd wear that 
at shows, no problem! 

You've been on TV a few times now. 
What might we have seen you in? 

Well, Johnny and Denise interviewed me 
on The Big Breakfast recently, and then 
ages ago I was on TFI Friday as the Lord 
of Love's inspiration. You remember that? 
I had to sit really close, and look him in 
the eyes, and he'd tell me that I was his 
inspiration - and meanwhile, there in the 
background, you've got all the guests 
trying to make me laugh. This Christmas 
I'm in a TV movie as Neil Morrissey's 
body double - he's playing a transsexual. 
But the best thing I've done was a Chris 
Tarrant show called Man Man. I was 
one of ten girls, and we had to push all 
these men into a swimming pool. The 
guys always fell in, every single time 
we shoved them - it was just like, 
"Get in there!" 

"They say things like 
Will you many me?; 
and the giris moan, 
1 Ve lost my boyfriend 
to you! Ws part of their 
fives, Tomb RaideH' 

Nell McAndrew, on being the public face of Lara 

■ We love the game 
version of Ms Croft, 
but there are some 
things you just can't 
do with polygons. 

January | 1 999 | Arcade 1 41 

Nell McAncbew 

"Nobody move. 
That contact lens 
has to be around 
here somewhere." 

"I prefer nice eyes, a nice 
bum. Someone I can get on 
with, who will treat me well, 
who doesn't get over-jealous" 

Nell, on her ideal man 

January | 1999 1 Arcade 1 43 

Nell McAncfcew 

"IVn very independent. I'm 
happy doing everything 
myseK I'm quite sporty, I like 
to work out and go cycling, 
and I like a challenge." v y 

Nell, on life 






...... * :- .y**. 


look big in this?" 



■ Somehow we've 
ended up profiling 
two slap-heads 
this month... 




Nell McAncfcew 

"Lara has made me realise 
how many different things 
there are to do in life, and how 
iVs a shame if you don t do as 
many of them as possible." 

Nell, on how Lara changed her world 

jFfi I ately, though, I've found out 
T™ that I've really been enjoying radio. 
You can go on and pull faces and nobody 
can see it, and better still you don't have 
to turn up looking immaculate. It's just 
the thing if you've been out on the town 
the night before! 

make a videogame, but from all the 
press conferences I've been to I feel like I 
know everything now. I've not completed 
the game or anything, but reckon I know 
more about Tomb Raider than anything! 


£m then the ultimate 
V accolade, a very 
fine Web site presence 
(she's generally to be 
found sandwiched 
between Species giri 
Natasha Henstridge 
and Baywatch's Nichoie 
Eggart - an intriguing 
thought if ever there 
was one). Indeed, we 
may finally get to see an 
official Nell McAndrew 
site sometime next year. 
She's been in modelling 
seven years now, "and 
am enjoying it more 
than I ever have done. 
Lara's been good to me, 
I've been everywhere 
and in everything. 
You're going to get sick 
of seeing me, you are." 

Dunno about that, 
Nell. We've got a fair 
way to go yet 

You first came into the public eye 
when you shaved your hair off. So 
what was that all about? 

I was sick of bad hair days, so I just went 
for it. It's better to get it out of the way 
while I'm still young, eh? I always used to 
bleach my hair, and I liked it when it was 
bright blonde, but sometimes I'd get it 
done and it'd be this awful yellow and I'd 
get really upset. One day I was on holiday 
in Tenerife, with my boyfriend at the 
time, and he said, "Look, if you're going 
to shave it, let me do it for you". So we 
did. When I woke up in the morning, it 
looked like he'd shrunk me head! And it 
was all white, so it didn't blend in with 
my body - it looked a lot better when I 
got a bit of a tan on it. When I got home 
my agent didn't know what to do with 
me, and I had to cancel some jobs, so it 
could have been a real disaster. But I got 
so much publicity out of it - I was in the 
Daily Star and everything - that it turned 
out to be a really good move. That was 
probably the most famous I got, before 
the Lara thing came along. 

How do Tomb Raider fans act when 
they meet you? Do they go wild? 

Oh, they're brilliant. They go mad, they 
go mental. It's like being a pop star. They 
say things like, "Will you marry me?", and 
the girls moan, "I've lost my boyfriend to 
you." It's part of their lives, Tomb Raider. 
But the very best thing is going to big 
computer shows like E3 in America, and 
mixing with all these computer boffins. 
It's like a whole new world to me. I'm 
learning a lot - to start off I knew hardly 
anything about Tomb Raider III, let alone 
all the things you have to go through to 

So how much of it have you played? 

Not that much, a few levels - 1 still don't 
have a PlayStation! I keep asking EIDOS 
for one, but they haven't coughed up 
yet, so I'm going to march in there next 
week with a big sports bag and demand 
they fill it up with a console and heaps of 
games. It is nearly Christmas, after all. 

So has any guy impressed 
you with his amazing 
gameplaying skills? 

Not yet! I'd have to 
say I prefer nice eyes, 
a nice bum. 
You know? 
Someone I 
can get on 
with, who 

■ 150% Lara. Here's 
Nell as game fans 
know her. Pretty 
different, eh? 

will treat me well, who doesn't get over- 
jealous. Though to some extent him 
getting jealous is nice - it shows he cares. 
I guess my top all-time favourite has to 
be Al Pacino, but I really like a whole 
mixture of men. He doesn't have to be 
over-muscley, just a nice toned body, like 
he might want to come to the gym with 
me now and again. He'd have to if he 
wanted to see me, because I live down 
there! He can play videogames if he 
wants, but not 24 hours a day. I would 
not be impressed! 

So how much are you like Lara? Do 
you think you'd get on with her if 
you met her? 

I'd certainly be very intrigued to meet her. 
Mind you, I'm sure there're a lot of men 
out there who'd like to meet her if she 
was real too! She'd probably be very into 
herself, I get the impression she likes her 
own company a great deal. You know, 
she's happy to go off on an adventure 
on her own, and probably isn't really that 
bothered about any male company. Then, 
when she's succeeded, she'll maybe, just 
maybe, treat herself to one. I don't know. 

As for me, I'm most like Lara in that 
I'm very independent. I'm happy doing 
everything myself. I'm quite sporty, I like 
to work out and go running and cycling, 
and I like a challenge. Playing the part of 
Lara has really made me realise there're 
so many things that I want to do, and it's 
given me the initiative to go out and do 
them. In Australia I was asked to turn up 
to this party on a Harley-Davidson, and I 
said I'd love to, but I can't ride it. So next 
year I'm going to learn how. I want to 
learn abseiling, too, and I'd love to do a 
parachute jump. Lara has made me 
realise how many different things 
there are to do in life, and how it's a 
real shame if you don't try and do as 
many of them as possible. 

So it's a high-flying kind of a 
lifestyle you've got now, then. 

Yeah, but I'll tell you the best thing. I was 
put up for this Yorkshire Young Achiever 
award the other day, it's at charity do in 
Leeds, and I went to the ceremony with 
me mam. And she loved it - she won a 
meal in a raffle. It's very hard to imagine 
the real Lara getting all excited about a 
raffle, but I was. You see, I might try, Ml 
but I'm not exactly like her... *"» 

■ Look for Nell in a blink and-you'll- 
miss-her role in the Neil Morrissey/ 
Martin Clunes Christmas TV movie. 
Hunting Venus. 

January | 1 999 1 Arcade | 47 

■ Most living rooms are 
dominated by the TV set. 
Andrew Baker's, on the 
other hand... 



^ * '* * ** 
















Here's the ideal: every house comes 
-with its own fully- equipped games 
room, its den. There's your full- 
sized snooker table - that's the 
room's centre piece. There's table 
football, and air hockey. On the 
wall there's a dart board (with 
proper floor markings, natch), and 
a basketball hoop. And next to 
them, in a neat little row, there's a 
bunch of classic arcade machines. 
It's fantasyland, right? 

The problem is that most of us live in houses 
or flats with no room for table football, let alone a 
snooker table. But coin-ops are a different story. If 
you've got room for a nice big stereo or a drinks 
cabinet, you've got room for a coin-op. Of course, 
persuading your other half that slapping a Pac- 
Man machine where they think a sideboard or 
writing bureau should be could prove easier said 
than done. But in theory, it's a breeze. 

So. let's meet the men who've lived the theory. 
Over the next few pages. Andrew Baker, Chris 
Jackson and Simon Wilson - three enthusiasts 
who've let coin-ops take over their lives - talk 
about how they got the arcade machine bug. and 
give us their personal recommendations. Plus, we 
have their expert advice on what to buy and how 

Coin-ops are a 
different story. If 
you've got room for 
a nice big stereo or 
a drinks cabinet, 
you've got room 
for a coin-op 

much to pay; and they tell you what to check 
when purchasing your own machine. A word of 
advice from all of them - coin-op collecting is 
habit forming. You could soon find it develops 
into an addiction... 

First off. the good news. Though the coolest 
thing you can own (this 
side of a spanking new 
L SpikeOut machine or 
I something) is probably 
I £1.500 of original 
I Taito Space Invaders 
I cabinet, collecting 
I coin-ops doesn't have 
I to be a hobby for rich 
I men only. On the 
contrary, you can get 
rather less sought after 
machines - something 
like Vulcan Venture. 
say - for a bargain 
basement £150. And. for 
a bit more money, you 
can get an alternative 
printed circuit board 
(PCB) or two to swap 
with Vulcan Venture 
when you get bored of it. 
Sounds cheap, 
doesn't it? Sounds like 
everyone should be doing it 
right? But they're not 
and there are a few 


«"As a teenager 
I must have put 
hundreds of 

quid into it..." 

Andrew Baker's love of Double Dragon started an international business... 

■ Andrew Baker's first 
foray into cabinet collecting 
came during a quest for a 
fruit machine. Working on 
the assumption that having 
a fruitie in his home would 
be more economical than 
banging his readies away 
down his local pub, Andrew 
set off to buy one - and 
returned home with an 
arcade's-worth of game 
coin-ops. "When I went to 
pick up the fruit machine 
and saw a warehouse full 
of old videogames, I just 
couldn't help myself. I 
bought the lot - about 50 
game boards and 20-plus 
cabinets. The idea was that 
I'd start selling them on 
locally, but through the 
Internet the business 
swiftly became national, 
then international. We 
now have customers in 
Korea, Hong Kong, America 
and Germany." 

Andrew gets many of 
his old boards and cabinets 
from outfits that deal in 
big-money, up-to-the- 
minute kit. The problem is, 
these guys usually only sell 
in bulk, and sight unseen. 
One day Andrew got home 
with a new batch of game 
boards and found that ten 
of them were World Cup 
'90 and another five were 
Lethal Enforcers - and all 
of them without the light 
gun. A disappointing haul - 
but, of course, he might 
just as easily have lucked 
across some lost classic. 

In the early days, 
Andrew sold his machines 
to a mixture of mates and 
local kebab houses, but 
soon found that this was 
too much hassle with little 
or no payback. He was just 
about ready to jack it in 
when, in a last ditch 
attempt, he decided to 

advertise his wares on the 
Internet - and he hasn't 
looked back since. 

"You can spend the 
same as you would on a 
PlayStation and a handful 
of games getting an arcade 
machine," he argues, "but 
a year down the line it's 
worth £100 more than you 
bought it for, while your 
PlayStation has either been 
replaced by a new system 
or taken a massive price 
drop. You won't lose 
money on game boards. If 
you bought Pac-Man today 
for £100, in six months' 
time when you're bored 
with it you can part 
exchange it or sell it for 
£100 or more." 

You can't fault his logic. 
"The game I say I'll never 
sell," he says, "and the first 
one I bought, was Double 
Dragon. I was at a supplier 
and noticed it sitting in a 

pile of games that were 
to be thrown out. As a 
teenager I must have put 
hundreds of quid into it, 
and all the home computer 
versions I'd seen were 
pants, so I couldn't believe 
my luck. I guess I played it 
for a few hours every night 
after that, with the wife. 
Soon we'd got so good we 
changed the rules to force 
us to complete the game 
without losing a life, then 
to completing it without 
getting hit. 

"The advice I'd give to 
anyone buying a machine is 
to play it like you would at 
an arcade - put money into 
it, so you don't finish it in a 
day. That way you won't 
get bored of it quickly." 

■ Contact: 0374 157648 

■ http://freespace. 
virgin, net/andrew. 

50 1 Arcade | January 1 1999 

■ "Well, it beats doing 
the washing up..." 
Happily, Mrs Jackson 
and daughter approve, 


It turned out it had been 
stood in a farmer's field for 
about six months..." 

For Chris Jackson, five abandoned cocktail cabinets started his obsession with repairing and selling on coin-ups. 

■ Chris Jackson got into 
arcade machines totally by 
accident. You know how it 
is - you see something (in 
his case a load of cocktail 
cabinets sitting unloved in 
someone's back garden), 
you ask out of curiosity 
how much it would be to 
buy one, and you end up 
going home with all five of 
the things. The original 
owner had intended to 
chuck them in a skip; now 
Chris had the coin-ops lined 
up in his garage, and no 
ideas. "I took them because I 
thought I might be able to 
do something with them, 
but I didn't know what." 

The answer, of course, 
was to get into the coin-op 
business, albeit it at the 
level of enthusiastic 

amateur. Chris was and is a 
printer by trade, and buying 
and supplying arcade games 
remains only a hobby, 
although one he admits 
he'd get a kick out of doing 
full time. "I don't really do 
it for profit, I just love it - 
going out and coming back 
with a load of new games 
and testing them is one of 
the best things." Sitting in 
his house, packed with 
obscure coin-ops, it's easy 
to see what he means. 

But dedicated though 
he is, the lengths some 
people will go to to get 
hold of their favourite 
games still amazes him. Chris 
takes a lot of international 
enquiries - his biggest 
customer is a collector in 
Germany, but he's had 

interest from America and 
elsewhere - with most 
people hearing of him 
through his Website. If 
people want something, 
they're willing to pay for it. 
On Chris's site he currently 
has on sale a Star Wars top 
marque (the lit logo above 
the screen) for £50. Yes, £50 
for an obsolete sign. 

Chris's best discovery 
came when he saw a sign 
reading, "Star Wars Machine 
For Sale, Not Working, £20". 

"I still didn't know much 
about arcade games at the 
time, but I knew enough to 
realise I'd struck lucky when 
the guy told me it was a 
complete, sit-down cockpit 
machine. After picking 
myself off the floor, I 
arranged for him to deliver 

it the next day - it arrived, 
and I couldn't believe how 
big it was." 

Unfortunately, however, 
the thing refused to work. 

"During the next day or 
so I set about finding out 
what was wrong with it. It 
turned out it had been 
stood in a farmer's field for 
about six months, and was 
badly water damaged at 
the bottom of the cabinet. 
The electronics were in a 
bad way too but, after 
checking the wiring and 
making sure that everything 
was connected properly, I 
turned the power on and 
stood well back. Risky, and 
not to be recommended, 
but I did it. A low humming 
noise rose from the depths 
of the machine, but no 

bangs or sparks. I remember 
thinking, 'Good start'. 

"But the monitor still 
wasn't working. I checked 
for other signs of life, 
opened up the coin 
mechanism and pressed the 
credit button. Nothing 
happened, and my heart 
sank. Then, just as 1 was 
losing hope, 'Red Five 
standing by' came from the 
speakers. Fantastic! I jumped 
into the cockpit and started 
blindly moving the controls 
around and firing. Sure 
enough the music started 
and nothing else. I played 
the game for the next two 
weeks with no picture on 
the screen, just happy to 
hear the sound come alive." 

It took Chris six months, 
and the purchase of an 

upright, £150 Empire Strikes 
Back machine, to get the 
Star Wars coin-op back into 
working condition. By 
stripping the entire insides 
out of the upright and then 
transplanting them into the 
cockpit model, the larger 
machine was at last a going 
concern. "And the best thing 
was that when I'd finished I 
could swap the two PCBs 
around in the cockpit 
cabinet whenever I fancied! 
These days my house is full 
of coin-ops, but I still wish I 
had that Star Wars machine. 
For some reason I swapped 
it for a pinball table, and it's 
a decision I'll always regret" 

■ Contact 01977 662276 

■ http://homepages.wh 

January | 1 999 | Arcade 1 51 

^■Wobvious reasons why. First and foremosi is 
^iathat knowing where to get hold of your coin- 
op ain't always easy. Yes, there are warehouses 
up and down the country full-to-bursting with 
dedicated cabinets from the late 70s and early 
'80s. but generally the people who run them can't 
be bothered dealing with the unwashed mass of 
the British Public. And why should they mess 
around selling to the private punter, when they 
can flog a £30.000 state-of-the-art coin-op one 
week and a batch of 40 £800 games the next? 

Because of this almost complete disinterest 
from the coin-op establishment, a number of 
enthusiasts have set themselves up as dealers 
and part-time dealers to service punters like you 
and me. It's down to guys like this that so many 
classic arcade machines are still in service and 
available - and when you see the machine that 
stole your childhood in one of their garages at a 
knock-down price... Well, you'd need to be a 
better man than us to resist. 




Ihen you buy an old arcade machine from 
[ a classic coin-op dealer, chances are 
that what you'll be getting is a JAMMA 
cabinet. This is your basic Japanese 
Arcade Machine Manufacturers 
Association unit, and was an industry 
godsend when it first appeared in the mid-to 
late-'80s. Why? Well, imagine you're an arcade 
manager. Pre-JAMMA. you'd get your hands on a 
fully dedicated Pac-Man cabinet, and a year later 
you'd cart it away, an obsolete wreck, to make way 
for the new Ms Pac-Man or whatever. Not so with 
JAMMA. Now you could keep the old cabinet 
exactly where it was. but by replacing the stickers 
on the side and fitting a new printed circuit board 
(or PCB - the actual game itself), it looked like 
you'd got a brand new one. Suddenly it was just 
like slotting a giant Nintendo cartridge into a 
giant Nintendo 64. 

And what worked for '80s arcades can work 
for you too. Because coin-op machine cabinets 
weigh in at eight stones and more (they have big 
weights at the bottom to stop them toppling 
over), and there's limited space available in your 
dining room (you'll need six feet of headroom, 
plus floorspace of two feet by two feet, plus 
standing room), the less you have to move one of 
the buggers about the better. JAMMA means you 
probably won't have to. Get your £150 coin- 
op. put it where you want it. and 
when you get bored of it, 
splash out anything from £20 
to £200 or so to replace the 
inner workings. All you need 
do is turn the machine off and 
exchange the PCBs - it's the 
ultimate home console. 
Of course, there are other 
machine standards. There 
is also Nintendo's old 
cabinet- little 
more than a 
NES with the 
ability to rotate 30 
games - and the Neo- 
Geo cabinet, which 
worked in a similar 
way to the JAMMA. 
With these, though 
you slotted in an 
actual cartridge 



Before you hand over 
your hard earned, check 
for screen burn, dodgy 
wiring, cigarette burns... 
and that the whole 
damn thing works. 





I The easy way to play 
arcade games at home, 
using Simon Wilson's 
Multisystem convertor. 

L A "These machines are pretty 
2. 1 old, there can be plenty of 
* problems with them... 

Simon Wilson brings the whole coin-op arcade experience into your home - using a converter and your TV. 

converter that enables you 
to play your arcade board 
through a bog-standard 
telly. While purists might 
balk, it has to be the easiest 

■ "I owned the original 
Space Invaders table-top 
video machine when I was 
15," says coin-op dealer 
Simon Wilson. "I'd seen it 
down the local arcade, and 
ended up paying the guy 
there £100 for it Later on, I 
sold it for about the same 
price. But if I wanted to buy 
it back again now, we 
would probably be talking 
over £1,500." 

These days, though a 
company called Dellfern, 
Simon runs a thriving coin- 

op-based business. He 
leaves the actual cabinets 
themselves to other 
operators - moving them 
around has simply proved 

too much hassle. (One day 
he sold one to some bloke 
and took it to his living 
room, only to realise the 
chap hadn't told anyone in 
his house what they were 
going to be sharing living 
space with. Never again.) 

No, these days he 
markets something called 
Multisystem XXX, a PCB-TV 

way to bring the arcade 
experience into your home. 

"Although nowadays 
I'm more interested in the 
business side of things," 
Simon admits, "I still get a 
kick out of playing the 
machines. The best thing 
about owning a coin-op is 
that you're playing the 
real thing. It's not a 

simulation of the game 
you want to play - it's the 
original. The only downside 
is that it weighs a bit more 
than a PlayStation..." 

Simon's main piece of 
advice to anyone thinking 
of getting a home coin-op is 
to make sure that the 
dealer you buy from is 
genuine and helpful, not 
some take-the-money-and- 
run merchant. "Ask him if he 
can help out if you have any 
problems," he warns. "Can 
you call him for advice? 

I myself have three skilled 
technicians working full- 
time for me, so if one of my 
customers rings me with a 
problem a technician can 
usually help over the phone. 
And since these machines 
are pretty old, there can be 
plenty of problems with 
them. Also, if you are 
searching by phone or on 
the Internet, check that the 
supplier is in your area. If 
not, and they don't supply 
transport, you can be in for 
a painful time getting the 

thing back to your house. 
It's best to think these 
things through before you 
waste their time or yours." 

■ Contact: 01384 444570 

■ Fax: 01384 444573 

■ E-mail: dellfern a 

54 1 Arcade | January 1 1999 

^J5|instead of a PCB when the game needed 
^■■changing. Both systems have their advocates, 
but for most of us JAMM A is the thing. 

Or you may come across one of the old 
dedicated cabinets instead. In the early days of 
Tempest. Pac-Man and Star Wars (with its vector 
graphics and one-offscreen), the dedicated 
cabinets were king. Though JAMMA effectively 
rendered many of them obsolete, these remain 
the games for the purist, and because of that 
prices for the most popular machines have risen 
accordingly: in November a dedicated Defender 
sold in the US for £1.000. and was considered 
a bargain. Still, you never know - it's always 
possible that that bloke you met with a lockup in 
Neasden has 30 of them hanging around... 

Before you start to splash the cash, though, 
do as much Internet-based research as possible - 
and though there are a few UK-based coin-op 
pages, this means checking out the States. Ever 
wondered which is the best path to take in Pac- 
Man to get maximum points, which of the giant 
coin-op auctions that are cropping up is best to 
go to. or why the Star Wars vector screens are so 
difficult to come by? Look to America to tell you. 
What it won't tell you. however - not with any 
conviction - is what to pay. There are no real cost 
standards for these things, so you might pick up a 

After-sales service 
is touch and go 
too - you might 
buy your game, 
get it home, 
switch it on and 
nothing happens 

rare, sit-down R-Type cabinet (in industry 
parlance, sit-downs are known as "cocktail" 
cabinets) from a dealer for £1.500. then see the 
exact same machine for £300 two days later in 
Exchange and Mart. After-sales service is touch 
and go too - you might buy your game, get it 
home, switch it on and nothing happens, then 
find your dealer doesn't want to know. We could 
be talking about a 20-year-old game, after all. and 
they're unlikely to come with a warranty. 

Here in the UK we're still a long way behind 
the US in terms of private coin-op ownership, but 
general opinion has it that 1998 saw a marked 
increase in the number of people interested in 
buying their own. As more people get involved, it 
can only mean more dealers - and that means 
more back-up if anything goes wrong. Right now, 
while prices are quite low and the supply 
reasonably plentiful, is an ideal time to get fk 
involved. Go on. take the plunge. #*» 

What to pay 


J— X-. |U«|-, n^tat-U 

should expect to shell out for games.. 

Up to £100 

This is the starting price for 
game printed circuit boards 
(PCBs). We've seen pretty 
unpopular games in poor 
condition go for as little as 
£20, with £50-£100 being 
the going rate for many 
late '80s, or early '90s, 
efforts. Cheap cabinets 
come in at under £100 too, 
but they'll need cleaning up 
- likely as not, they'll have 
been standing in some 
greasy kebab shop or at 
the back of a warehouse 
for the last six months. 

Up to £200 

A mint condition stand-up 
cabinet with a 20-inch 
monitor and stickers should 
sell for around £150. Most 
PCBs come at around the 
same price, with an 
average-to-popular game 
in good condition going for 
up to £200. But this can 
vary wildly: one minute 
everyone might tell you 
Tempest is an unattainable 
board, the next it'll crop up 
at around £200. 

Up to £300 

You should be thinking 
around the £250 mark for a 
mint condition stand-up 
cabinet with a 26-inch 
monitor and stickers. The 
same amount will get you 
a PCB from a few years 
back - such as Tekken 2. 

Up to £400 

Mint condition sit-down (or 
"cocktail") cabinets start at 
around £350 without a 
game board, though 
scrappier examples can be 
much cheaper (we've seen 
them go for as little as £25). 

Up to £600 

Around £550-£600 should 
see you walking away with 
the PCB for a popular beat- 
'em-up such as Tekken 3. 

Up to £1,000 

Complete, original versions 
of classic, much-loved 
games can go for high 
three-figure prices. Shop 
around though - you may 
be able to get hold of them 
for significantly less. The 
PCB for most recent coin- 
ops will go for £700 or so. 

Up to £2,000 

A cabinet with a 50-inch 
projection monitor for 
some of the better recent 
coin-ops will cost you 
around £2,000. 

Up to £3,000 

Very occasionally, old coin- 
ops are sold at this sort of 
price. The Holy Grail of 
second-hand arcade 
machines is Taito's original, 
Japanese-made, blue- 
cabinet Space Invaders - in 
mint condition these can go 
for £2,500+, putting them 
well out of the price range 
of anyone but the most 
dedicated and deep- 
pocketed of collectors. The 
PCB for something like 
Virtual Fighter 2 will come 
in around £3,000 too. 

Up to £20,000 

This is the sort of price 
range you'll be looking at 
for the best brand new 
games in hydraulic cabinets. 
In other words, you 
probably can't afford it! 

Some specific examples 

■ What you pay will 
depend not only on the 
popularity of the game 
itself, but also on what 
exactly you buy - the 
complete original coin-Op, 
the PCB in a JAMMA 
cabinet, or the PCB on its 
own. Here are some 
suggested prices for 10 
popular machines, to get 
you into the correct ball- 
park. Remember, though, 
there are no hard and fast 
rules for these things, so 
be prepared to negotiate... 










Space Invaders* 










Star Wars* 





Vulcan Venture 



















Rastan Saga 







10 Bubble Bobble 




The games marked * are 
much sought after and 
very collectable, making 
them hard to get hold of 
and ensuring that you'll 
probably be paying a 
premium price. We've seen 
Star Wars at up to £700 for 
the PCB alone (particularly 
if hardcore Star Wars 
collectors have got in on 
the act), though we feel 
you can get it for as low as 
the price we've quoted if 
you're prepared to shop 
around and haggle. 

1 |SC0RE< 

> Hl- 

3C0RE SC0RE<2> 




« A 

A s* 



**• ^ &• & 




January I 1 999 1 Arcade 1 55 

1. Check for 
screen burn 

This is what you call it when 
often-repeated words 
(things like "Game Over" or 
"1 Coin") are visible on the 
screen throughout the 
game. It's clearly bad news. 

2. Check it 
doesn't crash 

Turn the whole thing on 
and off a few times and 
then leave it on for at least 
20 minutes to check it 
doesn't crash or lock up. If it 
does, then either the power 

supply needs turning up a 
bit - which your dealer 
should be able to sort out 
easily enough - or the 
board is knackered. If it's the 
latter, walk away. 

Of course, things can be 
trickier if you're buying a 
game's printed circuit board 
(PCB) on its own. It might be 
harder to arrange, but make 
sure you get to see the 
thing working. If it doesn't, 
the best advice is again to 
walk away - most of the 
time you'll find a busted 
board just isn't worth the 
effort of trying to fix. 

3. Make sure it all works 

The only guaranteed way to do this, of course, it to 
play the game for a while. Check all the buttons, check 
the joysticks, check that both Player One and Player 
Two modes work. On older coin-ops, things like the 
marques (the lit signs on the cabinet, identifying the 
game) will be very hard to get your hands on, so if 
they're missing make sure you're happy about it. 

What to look for 

Arcade's top 10 pointers to buying your own arcade machine.. 

4. Beware of 
the scale 

For an arcade machine to 
stand up in the back of a 
van you need up to seven 
feet of clearance - in a 
normal Transit van or estate 
car you'll have to lie it flat, if 
it'll fit at all. They're heavy, 
too. It will take two people 
to shift your coin-op if it's 
got a 20-inch monitor; any 
bigger than this and you'll 
need three people. The 
bases are weighted to stop 
them toppling over, so it's 
a bit like trying to move 
an overgrown washing 
machine. Make sure you can 
get the cabinet up your 
stairs and through the door 
- and that it will fit in your 
bedsit and still give you 
room to move around. 
Make sure whoever you 
share your house or flat 
with is happy about having 
this beeping monstrosity 
there too - fail to check, 
and you won't be the first 
person to find your baby 
refused houseroom. 

Before you start to lift 
the machine, make sure that 
everything inside is secured. 
If the monitor, power supply 
and everything in between 
are not firmly secured, the 
likelihood is that something 
will be destroyed in transit. 

5. Make sure 
the game 
boards you're 
buying are 

In most cases you'll find a 
copied board will have no 
manufacturer name, and 
will look very bland - just 
plain old rows of EPROMs 
(or chips). Original games, 
on the other hand, will 
usually have the game 
name printed on the board, 
or, in Konami's case, a GX 
number (GX330 is Hyper 
Olympics, for example). 
Many of the biggest coin-op 
manufacturers have their 
own special marks to look 
out for. All IREM games, for 
instance, have a hologram. 
While you're at it, try 
to get hold of the game 
manuals. Not only are these 
nice to have, they'll help 
you with some of the 
game's features. Most coin- 
ops have dip switches that 
enable you to set things like 
the difficulty, lives and time 
allowed - Mortal Kombat 
even enables you to set the 
violence and blood levels. 
If these are missing, most 
game manuals and settings 
are available on the Internet 
arcade, but it's worth 
checking before you buy. 

good wiring! 




6. Check the 

Open up the back of the 
cabinet and take a look at 
the wiring loom. This 
should be fixed securely 
and neatly to one side of 
the cabinet, and cable- 
tied (in other words, the 
loom - which will consist 

7. Look out for 

Burns on your cabinet are 
sometimes unavoidable, of 
course, but you can always 
ask your dealer if you can 
swap it for something in 
better nick - you want to 
make sure it will hold it's 
re-sale value, after all. If you 
simply must have the game, 
and the burns affect the 
buttons or the joystick, then 
try to source new ones. If 
the burns are on the side of 
the cabinet and nowhere 
near the controls, you can 
repaint. While you're at it, 
check out the base. Cabinets 
will often have been stored 
outside, so water damage is 
a recurring problem. 

8. Check 
the coin 

Coin mechanisms on arcade 
machines are surprisingly 
pricey affairs - they cost 
up to £50 for a new one - 
so you'll often find that a 
broken mechanism has 
been replaced with a old 
one cannibalised from some 
knackered old machine. If 
you have an original game 
and cabinet, then the old 
10p coin slot is the one you 
want (with, of course, a 
decent supply of old-style 
10ps). If getting hold of the 
old coins is a pain, aim for a 
newer mechanism instead. 
Whatever it is you have, 
test the mechanism with 
the correct coins at least 
two or three times. 

of about 30-40 wires - 
should be tied tight 
together to look like one 
thick cable). If it isn't, and 
the wires are all over the 
place, it could well be 
that some idiot has done 
a rewire job and the 
whole deal is buggered. 
Although this might 

seem unimportant when 
the machine's clearly up 
and working okay, it's a 
good indication of how 
well the beast has been 
looked after in the past. 
If the wiring is botched, 
then it's likely the whole 
machine has problems - 
or will develop them. 

It's no good 
buying extra 
PCBs if you 
can't fit them. 

9. Make sure you know how 
to swap PCBs 

If you intend to buy one cabinet and multiple printed 
circuit boards, so you can swap games around when 
you get bored of one of them, make sure the cabinet 
is wired to the Japanese JAMMA standard (see the 
main text for more details). If it isn't, you probably 
won't be able to do swapsies. All JAMMA cabinets 
are fitted with the same connector, meaning you can 
swap boards from one cabinet to another by simply 
plugging and unplugging them. When you buy your 
JAMMA cabinet, make sure you're shown how to 
rotate the screen so you can play both vertical and 
left-right scrollers. Most modern cabinets need you 
to undo between two and four bolts to turn the 
monitor; if you have to start connecting and 
disconnecting wires to turn it, don't bother. Happily, 
there's also a good chance you can rotate the screen 
just by flicking some of the dip switches in the back; 
the dealer should be able to tell you about this. 

10. Make sure 
you know 
exactly what 
you're buying 

If you want an original, 
dedicated Pac-Man machine, 
make sure that's exactly 
what you get. Chances are, 
what you're looking at is 
some generic cabinet fitted 

with a Pac-Man game and 
converted wiring. Get the 
dealer to write a note to 
the effect that the cabinet 
and board are original, if 
that's what you really want. 
Remember, as with just 
about everything, you're 
generally going to have to 
pay a little more for the real 
thing - but it's worth it. 

56 1 Arcade | January | 1999 

after your 

Like a vintage car or wooden boat, 
your classic coin-op is going to 
need plenty of TLC to keep it in the 
bloom of health. Here, then, are 
the essential Do's andDon'ts. 

■ Chances are your "new" coin-op is getting on 
a bit, and that means it's going to need a little 
tender loving care to keep it going strong. Sure, 
coin-ops are fairly sturdy things - they're built 
to take a right kicking in the arcades - but they 
still respond well to a little respect. This doesn't 
mean that you can't slap it about as you play it, 
though; after all, that's what you bought it for... 

■ Do keep the cabinet in a dry, none-too-cold place - 
condensation can build up in the back, so if your 
machine gets cold, have a look at the monitor tube. If 
you get any condensation, don't switch the machine 
on but instead open the door and let it air itself out. 
You could even use a hair dryer to get rid of the 
moisture. But however you do it, don't turn your game 
on until you're sure it's 100% dry. If you keep the 
machine in the shed or the garage, you might well lose 
it over the winter; you're not going to be able to play it 
unless you move it indoors. 

■ Do keep your spare PCB boards safe and dry. If you 
lean your boards against a wall they can be trodden on 
or knocked - all you need to do is snap a capacitor and 
the whole thing is useless. Don't lie them flat on the 
carpet, either - they can pick up a damaging static 
charge. Instead, either shelve them or stack them in the 
bubble wrap they're supplied in. 

■ Don't leave your cabinet turned on for long after 
you have finished playing with it, or you're inviting 
screen burn. And if you install a new PCB, make sure 
that the machine is switched off first or it's goodnight 
Pac-Man forever. 

■ Don't take any risks. You really shouldn't go 
anywhere near the workings of the machine if it's 
turned on, and even after it's switched off, don't touch 
the back of the monitor tube - it can carry a death- 
inducing charge long after you've given up playing for 
the night. If you don't know what you're doing, forget 
the macho shit and find someone who does. 

What to do if your coin-op 
keels over and dies 

■ It's a sad fact of life that if your game board shuts 
down then chances are that you've lost it for ever. 
There are very few people around who know how to 
fix them, and the people who do are unlikely to want 
to spend four hours labouring over your board for a 
pat on the back and a crumpled fiver. If you do 
manage to find a willing someone who's gifted in the 
soldering-iron department, cherish them. And always 
get a quote before you hand your board over. 

Joystick and button problems, however, are much 
more easily fixed. A number of different Internet sites 
should be able to tell you you how to fix these with a 
microswitch and a spare half hour. But as we've said - 
and we can't emphasise this enough - don't get in the 
back and start fiddling about unless you're a qualified 
technician. And especially don't touch anything if the 
machine is turned on - not unless you want to 
experience a real first-person burn-'em-up. 



What if you 
can't afford, or 
haven't got room for, 
a real-life coin-op? 

You can download a free emulator to play old arcade games. But is it legal? 

■ By far the cheapest way 
to enjoy arcade games at 
home and at work is to 
download the Multiple 
Arcade Machine Emulator 
- or MAME to its friends - 
from the Internet. This is a 
freeware program that 
enables you to play up to 
400 arcade machines, 
providing you have access 
to a fairly speedy PC, Mac 
or (amazingly) even an 
Amiga. The big problem 
with this, of course, is its 

dubious legality. MAME 
itself is sort of okay, since 
it's free and given away, 
but as for the code to all 
the old coin-ops it offers... 
Well, it's dodgy to say the 
least. The fact is that most 
games available on it have 
been illegally copied. But, 
on the other hand, this 
stuff is all so old the 
owners rarely prosecute. 
You have been warned. 
For more information, try 
the following Web sites. 

The Ultimate MAME FAQ 


■ This is exactly what it (rather pompously) claims to be. 
The only downside is that it takes itself far too seriously. 

The MAME Homepage 


■ This site should be your first stop-off point, since it 
has all the links you'll need and most of the downloads 
for your machine too. 

Jose Q's EMU Views 


■ A quirky and informative site, and a great place to get 
started in the growing MAME community. 

MAME 32 


■ A download site for the Win32 platform. 

Elieo's Page of Emulated 


■ A good overview, with new ROMS to download plus 
information on games that haven't yet been emulated. 

Av 7SCC uib!*i drofcpnwpi I A. 

Triumph On The Internet 


■ A download site for MAME on the Amiga. 



■ A sister site to MAME, in that it emulates old home 
systems including Apple II, the NES and Vectrex. 

January | 1 999 1 Arcade | 57 

What you tat ate out buying, and our semi-info r med analysis off why. 

icial All-Formats lop 40 

llllllll lllll I III I !■ II 


(-) Spyro the Dragon 


The first truly enjoyable 3D platformer for 
the PlayStation crashes straight into the 
top slot, demonstrating that many PSX 
owners have always secretly envied 
Nintendo's cutesy character games. 

(4) TOCA Touring Car 

PSX/PC, Codemasters (budget) 

4$ ifilSSSS i""S« The imminent 
release of racer 
TOCA 2 is getting 
most PlayStation 
owners all excited, 
helping the fine 
prequel leap back 
to number two a year after its release. 

(-) Tenchu: Stealth 

PSX, Activision 

This engrossing 
ancient Japan- 
orientated Tomb 
Raider clone is only 
a few sales behind 
13 TOCA and rising 
all the time. 


(32) Grand Theft Auto 

PSX/PC, Take 2 (budget) 

An almost illegal 

igTHftornffri climb of 24 places 
j^j for the baddest 

i cop-shooting, car- 
K« smashing mutha in 
i "^mx t own ^ shanks to a 

re-release at friendly Platinum price, £19.99. 

(-) Formula 1 '98 

PSX, Psygnosis 

An impressive 

performance from 

this disappointing 

installment in the 

three-year-old F1 

series. We're laying 

bets on how far it will slip next month. 

6 (17) Crash Bandicoot psx. scee (budget! 

The manic marsupial's entertaining debut 
adventure bounces back up the charts. 
He's got Mr Platinum, and the fervour 
surrounding the second sequel, to thank. 

7 (2) Tekken 3 

Great though it is, the ultimate fighting 
game shot its wad in its first week on sale. 

8 (10) Premier Manager '98 

PSX/PC Grei 

With Champ Manager 3 on the way, this 
decent footy sim is liable to lose its grip 
on the top ten very shortly. 

9 (15) World Cup '98 psx/pc/n64. ea Sports 

The official "cock-on-the-box" kickabout 
claws its way back into the top ten. 

10 (-) Small Soldiers 

Terrible game, but the kids are rushing out 
to buy it on the "strength" of the film. 

11 (13) V-Rally PSX. Infogrames (budget] 

With Colin McRae inexplicably dropping like 
a (pretty heavy) stone, this decent racer is 
now the UK's top-selling rallying title. 

12 (3) Colin McRae Rally psx/pc. codemast 

Gasp.' One of the best racers ever takes a 
dramatic nose-dive out of the top ten. 

13(12) Tomtt Raider psx, eidos (budget) 

Hello, Lara. Your first adventures are still 
out-selling the sequel. Goodbye, Lara. 

14 (6) 1080° Snowboarding N64, Nintendo 
Nintendo delayed this excellent racer, on 
the basis that it'd sell more at Christmas! 

15 (19) WWF: Warzone psx/nm. Acclaim 

Sweaty, middle-aged men, grabbing each 
other by the lycra crotch, and somehow 
creeping up the charts in the process. 

16 (14) Tomb Raider II psx/pc, eidos interactive 

Oh, hello again, Lara. We reckon that your 
third set of adventures will be at number 
one next month. 



Sub-standard platforming adventure, 
smashing its way back into the charts with 
a Platinum re-release. 

18 (1) F1 World Grand Prix N64, Nintendo 

Well, that's a bit of a shocker. A fall of 18 
places from number one for this fine F1 sim. 

19 (27) Die Hard Trilogy psx/pc. ea (budget! 

It stars Bruce Willis, it's really rather good, 
and it's climbing up the chart. 

20 (-) Resident Evil PSX/PC. Virgin (budget! 

Re-released on Platinum, the ultimate 
videogame horror gets a respectable chart 
placing, but most people already own it. 

21 (29) Banjo-Kazooie 

N64, Nintendo 

22 (25) Rayman psx/pc, ubisoft (budget! 

24 (-) F-Zero X 

25 (7) Gran Turismo 

N64, Nintendo 

26 (9) Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee 

PSX/PC GT (budget! 

27 (36) Spice World 

28 (23) Tekken 2 

29 (-) Super Mario 64 

30 (-) Hercules 

31 (-) Grim Fandango 

PSX, SCEE (budget! 

PSX, SCEE (budget) 

N64, Nintendo 

PSX/PC SCEE (budget! 

32 (-) Carmageddon II: Carpocalypse Now 

33 (22) Theme Hospital 

34 (-) Game Boy Gallery gb, Nintendo 

35 (-) Combat Flight Simulator 

36 (-) Crash Bandicoot 2 

37 (5) ISS '98 

38 (24) Resident Evil 2 

39 (-) Heart of Darkness psx/pc mfogr 

40 (-) Duke Nukem: Time to Kill psx, gt 



mpoit zone | with NextGen (0181339 0666) 

1 1 (-) Spyro the Dragon scee 

I 2 (2) TOCA Touring Car 
Championship pi 

1 3 (-) Tenchu: Stealth Assassins 

1 4 (-) Formula 1 '98 Psygnc 

1 5 (10) Crash Bandicoot pi 

1 6(1) Tekken 3 x 

1 7 (-) Grand Theft Auto platinum 

1 8 (-) Small Soldiers 

1 9 (9) V-Rally pi 

.10 (-) Premier Manager '98 | 


My Little Pony scampers to the 
top, while F1 '98's negative 
reviews secure it low sales. 

1 (-) Grim Fandango mcasArts 

2 (-) Carmaaeddon II: 

Carpocalypse Now s 

3 (-) Combat Flight Simulator 

5 (-) FA Premier Leaque 
! Football '99 ea sports 

1 6 (-) Railroad Tycoon II 

I 7 (10) Age of Empires: 
Rise of Rome i 

I 8 (8) Titanic: Adventure Out 
of Time Europress 

1 9 (9) World Cup '98 EA Sports 

1 10 (2) Colin McRae Rally 

Grim Fandango's sitting pretty. 

1 (2) 1080° Snowboarding 


2 (1) F1 World Grand Prix 


3 (4) Banjo-Kazooie Nintendo 

4 (NE) F-Zero X Nintendo 

5 (10) Super Mario 64 Nintendo 

6 (7) GoldenEye 007 Nintendo 

7 (3) Mission: Impossible 


8 (NE) Body Harvest Gremlin 

9 (RE) World Cup '98 EA Sports 

10 (9) Mario Kart 64 Nintendo 
1080 D 's swept past F1 to occupy 
the top slot. It's disappointing to 
see F-Zero X coming in so low. 

■ There's a familiar 
knock on the door of 
Arcade Chart Central - 
it can only be Steve 
Lucas of NextGen, 
here to tell us what" s 
happening on the 
import scene this 

month. "Everyone 
wants a Dreamcast! 
They all want Virtua 
Fighter for it too, and 
most of my customers 
are disappointed that 
Sega Rally Zs been 
delayed." No surprises 

there. What import 
PlayStation games are 
you flogging? "Well, 
Xenogears and Rival 
Schools are doing well 
this month." And the 
N64? "Twisted Edge 
Snowboarding and 
Knife Edge are big, 
but everybody wants 
Zelda." We'd wager 
the Neo Geo Pocket 
handheld is selling in 
numbers, too. "Yep." 
And your biggest 
seller is probably 
Marvel vs Street 
Fighter on the Saturn? 
"Er, yes, actually." 

' jr-c^-^-r^?' ~^&- 

58 | Arcade | January | 1999 

■ The Legaia: No 1 in Japan. 

1 1 (-) The Legaia psx. scei 

1 2 (-) Dokapon! Ikari No Tekken 

3 (3) Pocket Monster Pikachu 

GB, Nintendo 

1 4 (1) Beat Mania psx, kc 

5 (-) FIFA World Cup '98 

! PSX, EA Sports/Square 

I 6 (-) Vampire Savior Ex Edition 
PSX, Capcom 

7 (-) Wario Land 2 GB, Nintendo 

I 8 (-) Simple 1500 Series Vol. 1 
PSX, Cultur 

1 9 (4) Metal Gear Solid 

110 (-) Zeus Carnage Heart 
Second PSX.Artdink 

1 1 (-) Metal Gear Solid psx. Kon 

2 (-) WCW/NOW Revenge 

N64, THQ 

3 (10) Tenchu psx. Act™ 

4 (-) Pokemon Red gb, Nintendo 

5 (5) NFL Blitz Psx.Mic 

Top 5 

1 (2) Deer Hunter II 3D gt 

2 (-) Links LS Golf 1999 Upgrade 

4 (-) Rugrats Adventure Game 

5 (-) Play With The Teletubbies 


US charts supplied by PC-Data 

Don't believe the hype 

Arcade's top ten games that could, should have tried that little bit harder. 

he history of 
is littered 
with much- 
hyped new 
titles that 
have failed to deliver. All of 
them were chattered about 
in excited voices before 
they appeared, then dissed 
in angry, betrayed tones the 
minute we actually played 
them. Really, they're best 
forgotten. Sorry. 

1. The Rise of the 

■ All formats. Acclaim 

■ Videogaming's most famous 
flop. Acclaim promised a fighting 
game with rendered characters, 
hundreds of frames of animation 
and Street Fighter-beating 
gameplay. What was delivered, 
however, could be completed by 
holding the joystick diagonally 
upright for the entire game. 

2. The Great 
Space Race 

■ Spectrum, Legend 

■ This intergalactic epic was 
ruined by the programmers, who 
forgot to make it interactive. And 
the Movisoft2 system, which 
had promised "quality film-like 
graphics", but delivered a series of 
characters who could only vibrate 
their mouths, and spaceships that 
would have been rejected from 
Space Invaders as "primitive". 

3. Pac-Man 

■ Atari, Atari 2600 

■ Atari commissioned a single 
programmer to knock this out in a 
couple of months. It featured one 
lonely ghost; the famous power- 
pills were transformed into 
anorexic carrots; and Pac-Man 
looked like a burnt crisp. 

4. The Race 
Against Time 

■ 8-bit machines, 

■ When the Darling brothers saw 

iTFz] JL? LH 

Introducing Captain Fish 

■ Hello, fish fans, Captain Fish here. I don't 
like to be the bearer of bad tidings, but 
there's little good news for fish lovers this 
month. My fish graph demonstrates 
that there's a distinct lack of fish in 
the charts, apart from 
that big bugger in Mario 
64 and an unconfirmed 
sighting of a cod in Metal 
Gear Solid. Sadly, 
Activision's "Tench-u" arrives 
at number 3 with nary a 
whimper from our bottom-of 
the-seabed-dwelling friends. 

Games not starring fish 

Frontiers: First ' 
Encounters: Elite's 
co-author accused 
Braben of nicking all 
his ideas. Oh dear. 

the opportunity to ally themselves 
with the Run the World charity, 
they jumped at the chance. 
Unfortunately, the game turned 
out to be a rehashed version of 
Dizzy, with the annoying egg 
character replaced by a man who 
trotted about a bit. Run the World 
went belly-up soon after. 

5. Toonstruck 

■ PC, Virgin 

■ Two years late, Toonstruck was 
conceived as the first interactive 
real-person-in-a-cartoon game. 
Unfortunately, the real person 
chosen was Christopher Lloyd (of 
Back To The Future fame), who 
put in a spectacular performance 
as a plank of wood. 

6. Microsm 

■ CD32/Mega-CD, Psygnosis 

■ Psygnosis tried to pull a fast 
one by sticking a seven-minute 
long intro on to a CD, following it 
up with pictures of what looked 
like a rectal probe with a 

spaceship superimposed on top. 
Prospective CD32 and Mega-CD 
owners weren't impressed. Both 
machines disappeared soon after. 

7. E.T. 

■ Atari, Atari 2600 

■ After spending $25 million 
buying the rights. Atari wasn't 
going to waste any more money. 
So what should have been an 
atmospheric action/adventure 
featuring the eponymous alien 
instead starred the deformed half- 
brother of E.T, wandering around 
Lego-town getting stuck in holes. 

8. Frontiers: First 

■ Amiga/PC, Gametek 

■ David Braben, co-creator of the 
classic BBC space-trading game 
Bite, and its early '90s sequel 
Frontiers, must have thought he'd 
lucked across a license to print 
money by the time he came up 
with this third installment. Most 
gamers gave up after the 32nd 
patch disk had been released in 
an attempt to fix the bugs. 

9. Ultima Online 

■ Internet, Origin 

■ The launch of this Internet 
only game was followed by a 
huge on-line protest. With Origin 
now having to deal with a lawsuit 
from irate Ultima fans, main man 
Richard Garriot is probably wishing 
he hadn't bothered. 

10. Myst 

■ PC, Brederbund 

■ Ha! Not a flop at all, but it 
should have been. The agonisingly 
slow unfolding of the story, the 
ridiculous puzzles and lack of 
gameplay were bad enough, but 
what made it worse is that Myst 
went on to be the biggest-selling 
game in the world ever, mainly 
because of its pwetty pictures. 

Top ten ready-to- 
use excuses for 
doing really badly 
at games 

1. 'The controller's broken!" 

2. "I needed the toilet" 

3. "Sorry, I momentarily fell 
asleep there." 

4. "Had we started?" 

5. "Which buttons is it?" 

6. "This game's crap." 
7 "Who am I?" 

8. "I don't usually play games." 

9. "You were distracting me." 

10. "My hands hurt" 

"POP I But what do the people really want for Christmas? 


Games starring fish 

■ "Hello. I'm Vicky." Been 
shopping? "Yes." Christmas 
presents? "Yes." For who? "Me." 
[Bag's full of clothes.] What's this? 
[Looks embarrassed.] "Nothing." 
[Waves frilly underwear in air.] Got 
a PlayStation? "I like Spyro. He's 
cute." Okay, thanks, bye. 

■ Morning. Name? "Ben." Do 
anything interesting? "I'm in a 
band." Cool. What d'you want for 
Christmas? "Tekken 3. 1 love beat- 
'em-ups." Fantastic, isn't it? Have 
you played Rival Schools! You get 
to beat up the teachers. "No." Oh. 
Anyway, cheers. 

■ Hello. Who are you? "Liz." Any 
good at games? "I'm alright at 
Co//n McRae, and I quite like Abe's 
Oddysee." Designed by a lass, you 
know. Christmas? "Not sure." How 
about Abe's Exoddusl "Is Zelda 
out yet?" Should be. "I'll get that." 
Alright, have a good one. 

January | 1 999 1 Arcade 1 59 

Eager to buy a new game? This is how we think the next five months will pan out. 





Brian Lara Cricket 

Dodgem Arena 

NFL Blitz 

Brunswick Bowling 

Heretic 2 


Pro Pilot '99 



Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 

Thief: The Dark Project 

UEFA Championship Manager 

War of the Worlds 

Wild Metal Country 


Buck Bumble 

NBA Jam '99 

NFL Blitz 

NHL '99 

NHL Breakaway '99 



Turok 2 

Twisted Edge Snowboarding 

Virtual Pool 

Turok 2 





Black Friar 



































E3 Knockout Kings '99 
|JE] Abe's Exoddus 

[| World War 2: Fighters 
11th V-Rally64 
11th Zelda: Ocarina of Time 

|| Gex 

H Sea Battle 

^ Tweety & Sylvester 

P!ml Streak 

3 Test Drive 5 
[H2j]] Test Drive 4x4 
CEflil Test Drive 5 

J] Tiger Woods '99 

J| Sim City 3000 

Q23 Rival Schools 

J Baldur'sGate 
023 Bio Freaks 

J Blood 2 
023 Extreme G 2 
Q23 F-16 Aggressor 

] Falcon 4 

J Fallout 2 

3 Gangsters: Organised Crime 












































Qj3 Grand Prix 500 Funsoft m 

0|3 Magic & Mayhem Virgin 

Q23 Savage Arena Rage 

0j3 Soulbringer Gremlin 

023 Top Gun: Hornets' Nest MicroProse 

] Tribal Lore Gremlin 

Q23 Turok 2 Acdaim 

J Blade Gremlin 

|| NBA Jam '99 Acclaim 

Jj South Park Acdaim 

FTTH RC Stunt Copter 

| Tai Fu 
22221 Heavy Gear 2 

jj Pocket Tales Conker 

3 Global Domination 

J Max Power Racing 

g] DethKarz 

3 Speedbusters 

3 Soul Blade 

J Pro 18: World Tour Golf 

J Pro 18: World Tour Golf 

3 Bugs & Lola 


' Psygnosis 
Sony Platinum | 

Psygnosis [Jj 



iT^l Devil Dice SCEE [23 

J Dreams Cryo 

3 Monkey Hero Take 2 

J NFL Extreme SCEE 


J Pro Boarders SCEE 

3 Wild Arms SCEE 

Q23 Bios y s Take 2 

023 Brian Lara Cricket Codemasters 

023 Civilization 2 MicroProse 

3 Daikatana EIDOS 

3 Dragonflight Grolier 

Q23 Drakan Psygnosis 

J Great Britain 3 Take 2 

] The Real Neverending Story Discreet 

023 Hype: The Time Quest Ubisoft 

3 May Day!! Take 2 

FTT-1 ODT Psygnosis 

Q23 Requiem Ubisoft 

023 Roggahub Grolier 

Q23 Shadowpack Blue-Byte 

3 Tank Racer Grolier 

|jjjj Thrust, Twist and Turn Take 2 

J Tonic Trouble Ubisoft 

3 Unreal Level Pack GT 

J Viva Football Virgin 

TBA All Star Tennis '99 Ubisoft N64 

TBA Star Wars: Rogue Squadron LucasArts N64 

TBA Tonic Trouble Ubisoft N64 

3 Pinball Take 2 

3 Bug's Life 
EH Delta Force 

| Starcraft Battle Chest 

3 WCW Thunder 
OJ23 Lion King 2 

J Akuji the Heartless 
023 Earthworm Jim 3D 
Q23 Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 

3 Metal Gear Solid 

3 Monaco Grand Prix Radng Sim 
023 No Fear Downhill Mt Biking 

3 Prince Naseem 

3 Running Wild 
023 Space Invaders 
023 The Gran Stream Saga 

3 Tribal 

3 Viva Football 
0j3 A '' en vs Predator 
023 Alpha Centauri 
rntl Baja 1000 Racing 
023 Championship Manager 3 
Q23 Civilization: Call To Power 
023 Command & Conquer II 

3 Diablo 2 
Q23 Duke Nukem Forever 
023 Dungeon Keeper II 
023 Extreme Warfare 

3 Lands of Lore III 
023 Machines 
Q23 Messiah 
023 No Fear Downhill Mt Biking 

3 Outcast 

3 PraxWars 
Q23 Prince Naseem 

3 South Park 

3 Star Trek: First Contact 
Q23 Star Wars: Force Commander 
Q23 Star Wars: X-wing Alliance 
023 Starship Troopers 
0j3 The Guardian 

J Total Annihilation: Kingdoms 
023 Ultima Ascension 

3 Unreal Level Editor 
Q23 Uprising 2: Lead & Destroy 

3 Warzone2100 

3 WCWNitro 
TBA Earthworm Jim 3D 
TBA Gex 64 
TBA Micro Machines 64 
TBA Monaco Grand Prix Radng Sim 
TBA South Park 

jg Asterix 
























































Write and let us know what you're looking forward to playing. . . 

Virtua Fighter 3 



Sega, Dreamcast 

■ The original 3D fighter, 
dragged into the modern 
age. Smooth moves and 
7eWcen-beating graphics 

are likely to show off the 
Dreamcast's potential 
and, if it's anything like 
the originals, it should 
play like your best dreams. 

R4: Ridge Racer 
Type 4 

Namco, PlayStation 

■ The dazzling beacon of 
the PlayStation's early '99 
line-up, this updated and 
improved version of 
1994's original should 
prove a joy to behold. 
With 300 car variations 
and eight tracks of hi-res 
loveliness, could this beat 
Gran Turismol We'll see. 

Perfect Dark 

Rare, N64 

■ It's months away, but 
the sequel to GoldenEye 
007 should be Rare's most 
accomplished masterpiece 
yet Plenty of gun-firing, 
coupled with the stealth 
that made 007 such a 
classy experience, could 
make this the Next Big 
Thing in first-person 
shooters. We can't wait. 

60 1 Arcade | January 1 1 999 


III il 



Half -Life Team Fortress 

Starsiege Tribes 

Duke Nukem: Zero Hour 








U23 Alien Resurrection EA/Fox 

J Driver TBA 

3 Indy Jones / Infernal Machine LucasArts 

J Quake II Activision 

3 Rainbow Six Take 2 

J R4 : Ridge Racer Type 4 Namco 

3 Rayman2 Ubisoft 

|mj Beneath Activision 

U2J Close Combat 3 Microsoft 

J Flyers Take 2 

3 Heroes of Mights. Magic III Ubisoft 

3 Indy Jones / Infernal Machine LucasArts 

HjJJ Interstate '82 Activision 

Uj^J MechWarrior 3 MicroProse 

3 Prey GT 

HjJjJ Prince of Persia 3D Broderbund 

H:':l Rayman2 Ubisoft 

3 Reel Feel Golf Ubisoft 

IJJ23 Slave Zero Accolade 

3 Solar Ubisoft 
3 Star Trek: Birth of the Federation MicroProse 

ti'-l Third World Activision 

|jjJJ Ultima Online: Second Age Origin 


TBA Quake II Activision 

TBA Rayman2 Ubisoft 

Three Lions Take 2 


2JJ3 Gabriel Knight Anthology 
3 360 



3 Joe Blow 


3 X-Men 


3 Black Moon Chronides 
Ijjjj DJump 
3 Descent III 




3 Giants 



iTT*l Joe Blow 
3 Kanaan 


3 Max Payne 

Take 2 


3 360 



TBA 360 



■ Prey: First-person 
shooting. A novel idea. 


■ X-Men: Tekken for folk 
who fancy mutants. 


H Heard a rumour? Missrig a 

torture Matk Green until he siigs 

30 Monmouth Street, 
Bath BA1 2BW 
Fax us on: 
01225 732375 
E-mail us at: 



t% > * 

II read somewhere that the new Mario 
game is almost ready for release in 
Japan. Is this true? What's going on? 
L Ban, Cheltenham 

I Well, you might be getting mixed up with 
the new Nintendo fighting game starring 
Mario and friends - see Game On (page 12 
of this issue) for more details. But it's more likely that 
what you've seen is the forthcoming N64 title, Mario 
Party. This Hudson-developed game is a video 
boardgame for up to four players, featuring all the 
characters you're familiar with from Mario Kart, and 
its due out in Japan in a month or two's time. 

Play involves jumping on to the board's tiles, and 
then taking part in one of 50 different mini-games, 
ranging from bowling and bobsleigh racing, through 
to something called "Mario Orchestra". Unfortunately, 
there are no plans as yet to bring it to Europe. 

Are there going to be any more 
Oddworld games, starring Abe? 
J Gilbertson, Liverpool 

Oddworld Inhabitants, the team behind 
Oddysee and Exoddus, has ambitious plans 
for the Oddworld series of games. The 

Mario Party. 
It's probably 
going to be a 
little bit odd. 

original idea - before the first game had even been 
released - was for a saga of five Oddworld games, 
each starring a different character. The whole series 
will apparently span around ten years - Inhabitants is 
effectively waiting for game hardware technology to 
catch up with the team's more ambitious ideas. 

So why, then, are there two Abe games? Well, 
because the first instalment, the rather gorgeous 2D 
platformer Abe's Oddysee, garnered such positive 
reactions that the team decided to develop what it's 
calling a "bonus game", Abe's Exoddus, as well as 
the five core games. Meanwhile, the second part of 
the series proper, Munchee's Oddysee, is due for a 
release on either the Dreamcast or PlayStation 2, and 
will star a different character. There's even been the 
suggestion that there'll be one big final part to the 
series, encompassing all of the characters from the 
quintuplet, including a creature called Meech, who is 
destined to star in the third Oddworld game. 

Abe fans needn't fret about these apparently 
dramatic changes to the nature of the Oddworld 
series, though. According to publisher GT Interactive, 
each successive instalment will feature familiar faces 
from previous games, so Abe and his subservient 
Mudokon friends will crop up somewhere in all five 
parts of the series proper, as well as in any 
other "bonus games" that appear. 







O...? | Superstars of gaming's past tracked down 

■ Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine: A movie 
licensed game that's just ten years too late. 

Jon Ritman 

■ Claim to fame: Jon Ritman was the 
programmer behind a host of brilliant 
isometric 3D games released for the 
old 8-bit computers. Head Over Heels 

is widely acclaimed as the very best of 
this 3D genre, and his two Match Day 
games were quite possibly the finest 
kickabouts of the '80s. 

Then, to the upset of 8-bit owners 
worldwide, he suddenly announced he 
was quitting the computing scene to 
work alongside Rare on its new arcade 
system. And then, just as mysteriously 
as he'd arrived, he disappeared... 

■ So, where is he? Still programming 
games, and surprisingly easy to get in 
touch with. After the Rare experience 
fell through, he put together his own 
development team Cranberry Source, 
that got the next instalment in the 
Match Day series, Super Match Soccer, 
ready for release on the PC. 

But then, all of a sudden, plans 

changed. The development house 
Argonaut waved a wad of money in 
front of Jon's face, and he ended up 
joining the team as Senior Games 
Designer. His current works include 
an adventure game for N64, and a 
title for Dreamcast and PC which he 
describes as, "having racing in, but it 
isn't a racing game". 

Jon says that people still sometimes 
ring him up to ask "how to collect the 
last crown on Head over Heels", and 
that he's just managed to buy himself 
some of the original cover artwork for 
several old Spectrum games. Which 
we unsuccessfully tried to 
blag off him. Grrr. 

January | 1 999 | Arcade 1 61 


62 | Arcade | January 1 1 999 

Tou turn up for your ordinary job. on an ordinary day. Don your 
ordinary lab coat and begin a very ordinary experiment. With 
some very extraordinary consequences. A simple rip in space- 
time, and your quiet research base has suddenly become the 
centre of horrific alien activity. Clearly, you'll have to fight hard 
to survive. As Half-Life's unlikely hero, research assistant 
Gordon Freeman, it's up to you to think your way through 
complex and lethal traps, battle sophisticated alien foes, then 
take on the might of the military. Everyone wants you. Dead. 
The man behind Half-Life makes creation of the game sound 
so simple. Like the casual hero passer-by who dives into the 
flaming building, emerges ten minutes later clutching two kids 
and a puppy, then claims afterwards that his actions were, "nothing". Like 
Superman, just doing his job. Pure instinct. Simple. 

"There was a point last year where we had the option of pushing 
something out the door that had a lot of cool technology but wasn't what 
we'd set out to ship." smiles Gabe Newell, the co-founder and Managing 
Director of Valve Software. 

"We sat around and argued quite a bit about what we should do. since we 
were about to go spectacularly and publicly late, and decided there was 
nothing we could do about it unless we started cutting our ambition levels 
drastically. Then someone said something like, 'Look, why are we here? 
Surely it's to build games we can be proud of?' And that settled it. Going 
late was going to embarrass us and make Sierra crazy, but not nearly as 
much as shipping something that was not as good as it could be. 

"It's a simplistic way of thinking about the problem." he concludes, kind 
of casually, "but sometimes you have to make things simple." 

And in that moment of visionary clarity, where so many others would 
have knuckled under to compromise, an extraordinary decision was taken. 
Half-Life. Valve's first ever game, would not be rushed out of the studio to 
please its publishers - or. indeed, anyone except its tightly-knit team of 
freakishly talented developers. Instead, it would be polished with exquisite 
care, then polished once again, until 
it was. quite simply, one of the finest 
games ever created. 

"Being a year late and slipping as 
many times as we did was hard on 
us. hard on Sierra, hard on the 
retailers, and really hard on the 
fans." says Newell, with few traces of 
regret. After all. it's not like he had 
any choice. He knew his team was 
capable of producing something not 

Half-Life, Valve's first ever 
game, would not be rushed 
out of the studio to please its 
publishers - or, indeed, 
anyone except its tightly- 
knit team of freakishly 
talented developers 

just "all right"; not merely "good". Instead Half-Life would become something 
extraordinary. He had to let them run with it. 

"I can't count the number of times I went into the office, saw a crowd of 
people huddled around someone's computer, and then walked over to see 
something that blew my mind." recalls the ex-Microsoft manager. So he 
trusted his instincts, trusted his team, and then, in the biggest step of all. 
underwrote the delay from his own pocket. 

It was a simple act of faith. Thank goodness he took it. 


don't think it's overstating things to callHalf-Life a Woodstock 

for the forthcoming generation of computer games -a noisy, joyous, 
phenomenally exciting game-as-event. A game to make everything that 
has gone before seem grey and stifled. Make no mistake: Half-Life will 
exceed your expectations at every turn. It shows just what the future is 
capable of. And it's Valve's first game, for God's sake. Heaven only A. 

■ This might look like some weedy 
little revolver, but in fact it's a bit of a 
mean old weapon, with a kick like a 
mule. And those might look like a 
bunch of friendly good guys, but 
they're actually nasty government 
Black Ops troops, as keen on wiping 
you out in their attempt to clean up 
this Science Base Gone Horribly Wrong 
as they are to get rid of the invading 
aliens. Enemies are like buses: none for 
ages, then two come along at once. 

knows what the team will come up with when it gets up to speed. 

■ There's a nasty alien down there, 
and it wants you dead. This particular 
beastie is one of the drone-like alien 
slaves, its weapon a nasty zap of 
lightning. The crowbar (bottom) 
might seem like a bit of a nothing 
weapon - like the axe in Quake - but 
you'd be surprised. Smashing glass (so 
you can jump through it), prising open 
vents so you can crawl through them, 
hitting folk on the head, it does it all. 

January | 1 999 1 Arcade 1 63 


So, exactly who are the wonder- 
mongers behind Valve's instant 
classic? And how did they make 
their debut so inordinately ace? 
Much of it has to do with the 
fact that while the two-year-old 
team may be new. the individuals 
who make it up aren't. Deep at its 
heart are ex-Microsoft employees 
Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington. 
Along for the ride are a couple of 
other Gates-fleeing refugees, plus a 
selection of smart people from all 
over the gaming world. 

Game designer Harry Teasley. 
for example, had worked for both 
Sid Meier (on Civilization) and Dave Perry (on Wild 9). as well as leading the 
development of PlayStation Doom and Doom 64 at Williams. The 3D artists 
Chuck Jones and Doug Wood came to Valve from 3D Realms, where both 
were a part of the "first generation" Prey team. Illustrator Karen Laur had a 
hand in Activision's Zork Nemesis, among other things. And animator Steve 
Theodore had already worked on 
both MechCommander and FASAs 
aborted Mech Warrior III. 

Intriguingly. however, many of 
Half-Life's, designers were plucked 
from the somewhat less respectable 
land of Internet fandom. These 
semi-professional QuaAe-tinkerers 
and level-creators - including, all 
the way from England, one Dario 
Casali - have been responsible for 
most of Half Life's level designs, and 
their expertise and passion shines through in every perfectly-placed trap, 
every beautifully-orchestrated alien ambush. 

They needed a world to play in. these hungry young talents, and so they 
started out with something that everyone was already accustomed to - the 
world of Quake II. Valve licensed the engine and began to overhaul it. piece 
by piece, until it started to meet the company's own. much more exacting, 
specifications. The end result, of course, is a massive improvement on id's 
original: but by working from an existing technology, the team was able to 
speed up the development process considerably, and free-up much more 
time to work on the beloved details. Gabe Newell explains how: 

"The nice thing about starting out two years ago with the Quake engine 
is that we always had the game running, even on day one. The artists were 
able to be productive, and we could start testing out gameplay ideas months 
before a particular sub-system was replaced. We figured out everything we 
needed to do to build Half-Life, and then set out to replace each piece in an 
order that let us do minimal re-work on the content. The first major change 
was the software Tenderer, while the last pieces we did were all to do with 
perfecting the multi-player code." 

Right from the start, then. Half-Life's 
technical achievements were matched 
to a bold conception of the game as 
a coherent artistic 
creation. Clever 

■ Watch out for this guy - he's an 
alien grunt, armed with a symbiotic 
parasite weapon (it fires little beasties 
that follow you round corners, which 
makes fighting him a right bastard). 
Watch out for the dead and dying 
scientists (like these guys to the right) 
too. By watching what they do - and, 
more importantly, what kills them - 
you can often avoid danger yourself. 

■ Half -Life doesn't have end-of -level 
bosses as such, but this guy is close. 
He's armed with flame throwers for 
arms, enough to make him a right 
handful (hem hem). Whizzing towards 
him is one of your laser-guided 
rockets, one of the more satisfying 
weapons you can get your mitts on. 

: m - " j 





■ Watch out for the installation 
guards, like the guy lurking in the 
shadows to the right. You can control 
these guys in a limited way, telling 
them to, say, follow you. Get one to 
walk in front of you, for instance, and 
he will trigger any lurking traps, like 
so much cannon fodder. Neat. 

■ Here's a perfect example of the sort 
of trap you might stumble across in 
Half-Life. See that thin, knee-level 
laser beam? It's a trap set by the 
government troops - step through it, 
and it'll set off loads of explosives, 
blowing you to kingdom come. Best 
to jump it, or let a guard or scientist 
blunder into it by mistake. 

I don't think it's overstating 
things to call Half -Life 
a Woodstock for the 
forthcoming generation of 
computer games - a noisy, 
joyous, phenomenally 
exciting game-as-event 

new features were developed only 
if they helped to expand upon the 
original vision of the game: an 
utterly immersive and compelling 
adventure through a plausible, if 
relentlessly action-packed, world. 
"All the decisions were driven 
by gameplay." confirms Valve's 
Art Director Ted Backman. "For 
example, we'd spend a lot of time 
looking at new monsters and then 
comparing their abilities with the 
monsters we were already using, to make sure that they were actually 
adding something useful to the game and didn't unbalance things. 

"For instance, someone did a bunch of work to add visibility calculation 
to the monsters, so they'd all have different abilities to see distances and to 
make things out in the dark. But when we play-tested it. the general reaction 
was just. 'Gee. they're stupid'. Even though we'd added a nice piece of 
technology, it sucked as something to actually make the gameplay better." 

"One of the longest-running arguments we had during the design of Half- 
Life" adds Harry Teasley. "was over the idea of 'realism'. When does it help 
the game, and when is it an excuse to justify tedious gameplay and boring 
level design? We pretty much ended up banning the word, and instead 
focused on immersiveness. interactivity and a phrase that I think Gabe 
came up with, 'experiential density' - which I suspect meant whatever 
Gabe wanted it to mean when he wanted to win a design discussion!" 


xperiential density: what a sublime concept it is. It's there in 

the perfect pacing, with every challenge leading seamlessly into the 
next. It's there in the atmospheric details - the footsteps which echo 
to reflect the material you're walking on. or the swaying glow of your 
headlamp as you crawl through a darkened conduit. And it's there. ^ 
most of all. in the heart attacks that lurk around every corner - the ^ 

January | 1 999 1 Arcade 1 65 


alien suddenly leaping at you from 
the shadows, or the terribly hapless 
scientist shot to pieces in front of 
you by a hidden security system. 
"We always knew it would be 
a game that was going to scare 
people." says Ted Backman. "We 
really liked the mix of horror and 
technology - the sense of things 
spinning out of control." 

Much of the credit {ox Half-Life's 
sense of dizzying tension must go 
to the writer/game designer Marc 
Laidlaw. in his other life a well- 
established horror novelist. It was 
his task to coordinate Half Life's 

narrative, and script all of the many interchanges that you'll have with other 

characters in the game. The results are remarkable - apart from anything 

else. Half-Life is one of the most watchable games in recent memory. You'll 

find that even non-playing spectators cry out in shock when one of the 

friendly security guard gets killed in middle of giving you a vital message. 
"I've written screenplays as well 

as novels, and working on Half-Life 

was closer to the former." Laidlaw 

says, as he attempts to explain his 

technique. "The biggest problem 

was also what made attempting it 

most attractive - the fact that there 

weren't any good existing examples 

of how to do it right." 

Half Life's unique zero-cutscenes 

narrative - all storytelling, even the 

intro, is enacted seamlessly through 

the main game engine - thrust the writer right into unknown territory. And 

because one of the game's greatest assets is its population of intelligent. 

independently-acting non-player characters, he found himself having to go 

so far as to plan conversations which would take place off-screen, between 

characters you wouldn't ever meet. 

But when you first overhear two computer-controlled people talking to 

each other, and lurk carefully behind them so they won't notice you. you'll 

"Balancing the weapons 
more evenly, while giving 
them a lot of tactical 
flexibility, is going 
to really appeal 
to experienced 
Quake and 
Quake II players 


■ Remember that neat parasite - or 
"Hive Hand" - weapon, as used by the 
alien grunt on the previous spread? 
Well, here it is again - except, having 
killed the critter and hacked off his 
hand, you've got it now. Those aliens 
ahead won't be feasting on dead 
scientist for long. 

■ Now this bit really is neat: that 
there's a shark cage, inside it is a 
special underwater dart gun, and just 
out of shot below your feet is a giant 
water tank, containing a mutant fish 
monster. Guess what you've got to 
do? But in doing it, make sure you 
avoid the alien ceiling barnacle affair 
at top left: walk under it, and its long 
tongue affair will grab you, and pull 
you to your doom. Watch out, too, 
for the fellas to the left: a normal 
government trooper after your blood, 
and an alien sound dog. These hunt in 
packs, and create deadly sonic booms 
with those revolting mouth affairs. 
If you see its head vibrate, leg it, or 
shoot it quick - it's building up for its 
deadly alien bark attack. 

be delighted that he took the trouble to make the story 
so involved and involving. 

Laidlaw was well aware how much he was 
demanding of his characters, however - and 
how easily his carefully-wrought scenes of 
dramatic intensity could slip into the realms 
of the ridiculous. 

"Part of the problem with working on 
something that is intended to have an 
emotional impact." he remarks, "is that 
you have to keep it from getting campy. 
Bringing in play-testers and seeing 
how they reacted was essential to keep 
reminding us of what the game was about, 
and helped rein in some of our excesses." 

Luckily, this area of the project didn't 
prove too difficult. "Once we got in a groove, 
the overall design process went pretty 
smoothly." says Harry Teasley. 

"The biggest changes as the game evolved," 
adds Ted Backman. picking up on Marc Laidlaw's 
concern for a consistent dramatic tone, "were to move 
in a more photo-realistic direction with the textures, and to stay away from a 
cartoony look for some of the characters." 

Anyone who's seen the startlingly lifelike inhabitants of Half-Life in 
action would consider that particular mission well and truly accomplished - 
thanks in no small part to the all-new "skeletal" animation system developed 
by Senior Software Development Engineer Ken Birdwell. 

"There's a whole laundry list of benefits." he boasts of his bones-based 
technology. The creatures' feet don't skate nearly as much. You can use the 
skeleton to do precise weapon damage calculation. And keyframe animation 
can be mixed with procedural animation: for example, people's heads turn 
to look at you. or the soldiers' weapons point in the direction that they are 
shooting. Also, we can do a much better Job of illuminating characters, 
using things like muzzle flashes in multi-player. And animations are much 
smaller, allowing us to put huge amounts of animation into the game. 
Basically, we can do much more complex characters. 

"I would be surprised." he finishes, "to see any future 3D games come out 
that don't implement at least primitive hierarchical or skeletal systems." 

The use of skeletal systems is far from beingHalf-Life's only 
major technical achievement. The implementation of proper 3D 
sound, with dynamic processing to add environment-determined 
effects (such as echoes) in real time, is remarkably effective. Turn 
around while someone's talking to you. and you'll hear them first in 
one ear. then gradually more loudly in the other. Swim underwater, 
and you'll hear muffled noises above. 

In addition, the artificial intelligence routines are, by a long way the most 
accomplished ever devised. They get particular praise in our review (see 
page 124 this issue), but the bottom line is that they work, and are seen to 
work. Many other games have claimed to incorporate similar features before 
now. but Half-Life's - finally - appear convincing, and on a regular basis. 

And then there's the small matter of a 32-participant multi-player mode. • 
"The work Yahn Bernier has done to make multi-player a lot easier and more 
accessible to mere mortals is probably going to be the game's single most 
important feature." reckons Ken Birdwell, while level designer Dario Casali 
comments that: "Balancing the weapons more evenly, while giving them a 
lot of tactical flexibility, is going to really appeal to experienced Quake and 
Quake II players." 

And there's a uniquely large arsenal on offer, too. including several dual- 
action weapons, such as the combined machine gun and grenade launcher. 
("Secondary fire on the crossbow is the best thing since cheese on toast." 
laughs Gabe Newell enticingly, as if we needed any further encouragement.) 

Indeed, from launching you into the world's best intro. through to a 
staggering end-of-game showdown. Half-Life's got it all. The only drawback. 
in fact, is that it's only available for PC. and for a good PC at that, so unless 
you have over a grand's worth of kit you're not invited to the party. 

Even that could change, though, as Valve's Director of Development 
Mike Harrington reveals. "We tried to make Half-Life a good game, and 
didn't really think about it in terms of it being a PC game as opposed to a 
console game. Ports to consoles are something we are looking at. We've 
actually started talking to the console manufacturers, but the discussions 
are very preliminary." 

So one way or another. Half-Life is coming to get you. Rejoice. 

■ Jon Smith wrote about Lara Croft in the December issue of JK 

Arcade. His hands have nearly stopped shaking. **% 

The best thing in Life 

Few games, and even fewer 3D shooters, are packed 
with certifiably Cool Things like Valve's incredible 
debut. Here's our top ten - it was very hard to choose. 

■ 1. The intro 

Many first-time players, so 
used to the cliches of lesser 
titles, sit quietly in front of 
the intro, wait for it to pass. 
But the great thing about 
Half-Life is that there are 
no cut-scenes; no dead air- 
time. Even this opening 
movie is rendered in the 
game engine - so take a 
look around as your train 
leads you through tunnels 
to work, and admire the 
throwaway details which 
surround you. And think: 
you could've missed it. 

■ 2. Watching soldiers 
fight aliens 

Several times in your Half- 
Life adventure, you'll be 
able to witness a fierce 
battle between computer- 
controlled forces. Intervene 
if you like, but it's probably 
more satisfying to sit back, 
watch the Al fight, then 
simply mop up afterwards. 

■ 3. The tie- 
straightening man 

This impassive and sinisterly 
besuited figure crops up at 
the strangest moments - 
and always just out of 
reach. Who is he? What's 
he playing at? 

Valve Managing Director 
Gabe Newell says: "He was 
part of the game from the 
beginning. Chuck Jones did 
a great job of realising him. 
He looks much scarier to 
me than just about anything 
else in the game." 

■ 4. Immersive story- 
telling without 

"Our sense is that this is 
critical if you want to suck 
people into the experience," 
asserts Newell. And, indeed, 
one day all games will work 
just like this. You can turn 
around, walk away or just 
listen - all the action moves 
on independently. Genius. 

■ 5. The helicopter 

Without doubt, the single 
most exciting thing in any 
game ever. If you've seen it, 
you'll know what we mean. 
Brilliant, isn't it? And if you 
haven't... well, we won't 
spoil anything for you. 

■ 6. The scientists 

They get eaten. They get 
shot to bits. They fall down 
lift shafts (hilariously). The 
Valvers refer to them as 
"Barneys" - and you should 
keep a close eye on any 
that you spot. Chances are, 
they're about to alert you 
to some trap... which they 
generally achieve by means 

■ Not many 
games would 
dare have an 
intro sequence 
depicted using 
the actual in- 
game engine, 
but plucky old 
Half-Life does. 

■ Take part in 
battles, or let 
others do the 
fighting: in 
Half -Life, the 
choice is yours. 

■ The dreaded 
low-key horror 
of the tie- 
man. Now 
that's scary. 

■ Your first 
thought on 
entering a 
room: Can I see 
a scientist? Is 
he dead? And, 
if so, what 
killed him? 

of blundering straight into 
it. At least you can learn 
from their mistakes. 

■ 7. The cockroaches 

Just one of many details - 
made more delightful for 
being utterly pointless. Step 
on 'em and they crunch 
delightfully. So you could, 
theoretically, splatter a trail 
of them to mark your way. 
If you were sadistic enough. 

■ 8. The troop Al 

Al that's nothing short of 
revolutionary. These troops 
are devilishly smart - one's 
even been spotted planting 
a laser-activated booby-trap 
and retreating to watch the 
fireworks. The raucous cries 
of their radios comprises a 
particularly atmospheric 
element of the troops' 

■ Packed with 
huge special 
effects. Half- 
Life's like The 
X-Files meets 
Die Hard, as 
directed by 
Jim Cameron. 

■ 9. The special effects 

Brimful with huge bursts of 
shimmering alien power, the 
sparking jolts of electricity, 
and the bolts of death 
flung by your experimental 
weapons, Half-Life misses 
no opportunity to wow 
with extraordinary graphical 
effects. They even look 
pretty good when running 
on a non 3D-accelerated 
machine; Valve has done a 
fantastic job writing the 
routines into its software 
renderer. Magnificent. 

■ 10. The alien bug gun 

It shoots a barrage of tiny, 
nasty flies round corners. 
Brilliant! It's got unlimited 
ammo. Excellent! And it 
turns out that true Valvers 
term it the "Hive Hand". 
Which is even better. HIVE 
HAND'. Urghhh! 

January) 1 999 1 Arcade 1 67 

,..,-. : . .•.:,;.-' 


It happens every couple of weeks: I 
the team get together for a night | 
of furious multi-player gaming 
while slowly relieving our local 1 
off-licence of its wares. This 
month we're snowboarding - 
in the safety of the living room. 

et's weigh up the options: to prepare 
for real winter sports, you must shell 
out hundreds (maybe thousands) of 
quid for specialist equipment, not 
to mention the high-performance 
breathable Globo-Tex cagoules and stretch pants 
necessary to avoid becoming the sloth of the 
slopes. Then you've got to trek halfway around 
the world to actually participate. And it's cold, and 
you'll probably do your knees in. And it's actually 
really hard. Face it, you're bound to come a 
cropper, or at the very least be shown up by 
a bunch of cocky, long-haired kids. 
Compare that scenario with the one currently taking place 
in my living room. The preparation has involved nothing 
greater than a trip to the offie; it's warm, there's a 
comfortable seat for everyone and, while the contest is as 
fierce as any you're likely to find on the competition slopes of 
Calgary, there's no likelihood of physical strain and the toilet is 
never more than ten paces away. 

Having selected the best multi-player options that the 

world of winter sport console sims has to offer (which these 

days means snowboarding, snowboarding and more 

snowboarding - skiing's for geeks and minor royalty), the 

Games Night crew are ready to discover who's going to rip 

the hips and who has the hips that rip. I'm stoked - let's ride. 


Cool Boarders 3, SCEE, PlayStation 

You'd have to be some kind of crazy to 
suggest that Cool Boarders 2 wasn't a huge 
leap in gaming technology beyond the 
original, but what fate the brand new 
trequel? Graphically, the riders certainly 
look the part, the courses are more varied 




January | 1 999 | Arcade 1 69 


and the tricknology has advanced tc the 
point where you're battering che joypad iike 
some Tekken pro at each jump, tc pull off 
ridiculous moves with even more ridiculous 
names. Frankly though, we're not interested 
in backside 360s or stalefish rodeos. We 
simply want to jib and f reeriae our way to 
the bottom of the hill and the last one there 
is a bobble-hatted twerp. 

It's difficult to avoid selecting ihe 
downhill course entitled Devii's Butt, sc, of 
course, we did. Robin and Mark were the 
first to do battle, but would their now- 
pumping adrenaline carry them all the way 
to the, er... bottom of the course? 
Robin: "It may be too early ra say this, but 
Cool Boarders 3 is actually a bit dull." 
Mark (cruising to victory): "This is the first 
time I've played the game, but it isn't much 
of a challenge. In fact, I'm shocked and 
appalled at how easy it is." 
Andrea: "You're meant to choose the 
character that looks most like you. aren't 
you? Although I'm not sure I really resemble 
Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards." 
Rich: "Robin always chooses women, so 
what does that tell us?" 
Andrea: "I think it's just Decause he wants 
to control women. I mean, he's not allowed 
to do it at home!" 

Not wanting to let the potentially 
gruesome personal details of Robin and 
Andrea's relationship ruin the taste of 
good beer, we slide swiftly on. And it's fun, 
to some extent. 

After a while we have all acquainted 
ourselves with the shimmies and railslides, 
and had a right old lark with the fact that 
players can punch each other at the start 
of each race. But, though this is definitely 
the PlayStation's best snowboard sim (and 
a *•*••-*•■*• game in the first :ssue of 
Arcade), something's missii ig. The consensus 
is that Cool Boarders 3s simply toe slow; 
too easy (even when you whack up the 
difficulty level), and soundtracked by an 
increasingly irritating breakbeat loop. 

"It's not even any fun winning!" cries 
Mark, and from a man who spends his 
entire month ensconced ii i an attic room 
practising the Games Night games in order 
to laud his petty victories ovei the rest of us, 
this is criticism indeed. 

■ Jibbing and railsliding is easy when you 
know how. In fact, a little too easy... 


Phat Air Extreme Snowboarding, 
Funsoft, PlayStation 

. /; On my borrowed 
Phat Air Extreme 
Snowboarding disc, 
some wag has 
crossed out the word 
'Air" and replaced it 
with "Ass". However, this turns out to be 
well-reasoned graffiti - the game stinks 
worse than a pig's backside. 

First, we are confronted with a 
cacophony at the character options screen 
(Rich runs with Andrea's assertion that we 
should choose the characters that look most 
like ourselves by picking Cherry Boy). The din 
continues into the game itself; the- music 

i semen 


The joypad jury 

Five people 

■ Matt and Neil 
cried off sick (hung 
over, we all 
suspected), forcing 
us to drag new 
blood into the 
Games Night 
arena, in the shape 
of Robin's Mrs, 
Andrea, who 
happens to be our 
very first Games 
Night girl. Her 
presence, it turned 
out, would only 
up the blue 
language quotient. 

who'll be coming down the mountain when they come. Eventually. 



Arcade's Reviews 
Ed has never 
tangled with real 
slopes, but brings 
to the contest 
experience of a 
solitary dry skiing 
trip to Pontypool. 


The only one with 
any snowboarding 
experience, Rich 
visited the Alpine 
slopes during 
college, mocking 
the concept of 
student poverty. 


She may be Robin's 
girlfriend, but she's 
here on merit. 
Andrea was a bit of 
a demon ice skater 
in her time, learning 
the craft at the 
Bristol Mecca rink. 


Pallid weakling 
Mark has never 
really been the 
outdoor type - the 
closest he's been to 
winter sports is 
losing a snowball 
fight. Pathetic. 

ums unn 

■ In their rush to cram this game full of truly "rad" gear and "phat" 
sounds, they forgot to make it fun to play. Oh well, back to the beer. 

When we reach the finish 
line, it's ac co m pa nied by a 
sigh off reief rather than a 
shriek off victory .. . 

here is just as bad as the stuff in Cool 
Boarders 3, but louder. We turn the sound 
off and stick UNKLE on the stereo instead. 

But it gets worse. Phat Air, in its wisdom, 
has decided that we would prefer a left- 
right split screen for the two-player race, 
preventing us from seeing more than two 
yards of snow in front of our boards. Back 
we go to the options screen to select a top- 
bottom split. This is already tiresome. 
^^^^^^^^^^_ Mark: "Can we stop now?" 

He has yet to reach the bottom of his 
first run. Then his board seems to stick to 
the ground and he gives up. 
Andrea: "These graphics are terrible. I rode 
through that rock like it wasn't there." 
Rich: "If we're talking realism, then those 
snowboards are too small." 

Although the rest of us have no real 
idea of how long a snowboard should be, 
we're willing to take his word for it. With 
unresponsive controls and unimaginative 
courses, Phat Air is awful from beginning to 
end. When we reach the finish line, it's 
accompanied by a sigh of relief rather than a 
shriek of victory. 

Robin: "Why can't we play Horace Goes 
Skiing? Now there was a game." 
Mark: "Yeah, that was a true simulation of 
the skiing experience because you had to 


Sam's closest 
experience was a 
visit to Aviemore in 
Scotland. He was 
thwarted in his 
attempt to ski by 
too much snow. 

TO | Arcade | January 1 1 999 

■ It may be a kiddy game, but its furious four-player contest provoked some strictly X-rated 
language from our normally civil panel. Like, "Which fucker turned me into a snowman?" 

cross a busy road to buy your skis before 
you could even get to the slopes." Nostalgic 
tears well in everyone's eyes. And Phat Air 
gets consigned to the bin. 


Snowboard Kids, Atlus, Nintendo 64 

IjPfB After a visit to the 
( fridge, I return to the 
" living room to find 
Robin sitting blankly 
in front of the telly 
wondering why the 
N64 won't start. But once the plug-to-wall- 
socket concept is explained, we're ready for 
Snowboard Kids, a game where realism is 
banished in favour of a winter wonderland 
full of snowmen, penguins and the greatest 
power-ups this side of R-Type. 

With no real need to spend time 
replicating the moves of real snowboarders, 
Snowboard Kids has spent more effort 
designing a bunch of interesting courses, 
which make turns, jumps and drops entirely 
alien to real experience - but which are 
ultimately much more entertaining. Your 
characters may be a bunch of freakish 
cartoon youngsters, but the four-player 
battle mode is vicious, with everyone racing 
to collect the best power-ups, which you can 
use to encase your opponents in blocks of 
solid ice, send them high into the air on 
umbrellas or (hilariously) turn them into 
hopeless, uncontrollable snowmen. 

The garne^ has invented a novel way of 
creating a downhill course with "laps" by 
providing a chairlift which returns you to the 
top of the slope. This entirely fantastical 

game therefore provides the most realistic 
portrayal of snowboarding behaviour we see 
all evening, as our little kid characters knock 
each other to the ground in a desperate 
G/acfators-like scramble to be first on the lift. 
Snowboard Kids is a blast and makes for 
the most hard-fought action of the night. 
Mark claims rookie status, but betrays 
himself by immediately humming along to 

■ The closest any of the Games Night panel will get to real 
snowboarding in a long time. The best sim around. 

the incessant (but strangely comforting) 
theme music. Our favourite course is 
Dizzyland, an "after-hours amusement park" 
- "Ooh," exclaims Andrea, "that sounds a bit 
dodgy" - which turns out to be nothing but 
good clean fun. With victory generally 
hinging on the most skillful application of 
power-ups, we're all in with a shout, 
although Mark is again crowned the 
eventual winner. He then reveals that he 
took the game back to the shop after being 
disappointed when he first bought it. 
Everyone: "Fool!" 

Mark: (whining) "But I had no-one to play it 
with. I didn't realise the multi-player mode 
was so good." 

In fact, the four-player option has only 
one disadvantage - there's a worrying 
reduction in graphic quality when you split 
the screen. But this many drinks down the 
line, we convince ourselves it's probably just 
our eyes anyway, and get on with enjoying 
what will, from this day forward, be known 
as the Mario Kart of the slopes. 
Andrea: "I'm annoyed that I'm bad at it, 
because I really like it." 


1080° Snowboarding, Nintendo, N64 

I Back to reality, but 
this time it's a wholly 
more enjoyable 
reality, as 1080° 
proves to be the best 
I snowboarding sim 
around. It's difficult to describe why, but 
the snowboarding experience just feels m 


right. The landscape, sound and 

January] 1 999 1 Arcade | 71 


i T ; tttti :<r: r; 

payability all combine to create the feel of 
the piste. You almost want to step through 
the screen and start building snowmen in 
the deep powder. Robin's eyes begin to mist. 
Robin: "This actually feels like you're cutting 
through real snow. In Cool Boarders 3 you 
might as well have been on a road." 

Rich begins to show off, since he's 
recently been compiling tips on 1080°for 
this very magazine. He may be perfecting 
the indy nosebone, while the rest of us 
stack hard (crash) while cornering the 
simplest of bends, but what if he were 
actually to lose? Why, you wouldn't be able 
to trust his tips (or, indeed, anything he 
writes) ever again. Inevitably, Robin thrashes 
him in a simple downhill challenge, showing 
that sticking true to your line and crouching 
for speed is always more advantageous than 
spinning about in the air like a spawn-crazed 
salmon. Rich retires in shame. 

Meanwhile, Andrea is quite content for 
the race to progress halfway down the hill 
before she realises that she's holding an 
inert controller and the contest is actually 
between myself and Mark. Ladies and 
gentlemen, it's that time of night. 
Robin: "The catch-up feature on this 
game works really well. It means that you 
are always in with a chance against ponces 
like Rich." 

Andrea: "I think having the camera placed 
near the ground is important. The game 
feels more... exhilarating." 
Mark: "The only complaint I'd make is that 
it's really annoying when the damage 
counter reaches full and someone wins the 
game by default. It's a hollow victory." 

Having just beaten Mark in this very way, 
I beg to disagree. 


Mario Kart 64 (ice levels), 
Nintendo, N64 

■ On agreement that 
\ it's far too late in the 
evening to start 
i messing about with 
the gamut of events 
I included in Nagano 
Winter Olympics, we resort to that old 
multi-player standby, Mario Kart We justify 
this to ourselves by playing only on Frappe 


■ In a rapidly emerging Games Night tradition, here is Mario Kart again (the ice levels are a legitimate excuse). This 
game's ability to wreck friendships, relationships and carpets is legendary. But if we really do pick the characters 
most like ourselves, why has Rich chosen camp plumber Mario? And why is Mark the rather scaly Yoshi? 

Snowland and Sherbet Land, the two 
courses set in some kind of Antarctic 
paradise, complete with blue penguins and 
much slippage of wheels. 
Mark: "Do you think we'll find an excuse 
to play Mario Kart on every Games Night 
from now on?" 

Proceedings are beginning to get a little 
frayed as we all scramble toward that last 
opportunity for Games Night success. There 
is shouting, there is screaming, there is 
alcohol on the carpet and there is Mark 
skating round the course in virtual autopilot, 
as though he has played it literally millions of 
times before. Which he has. 

I accidentally select DK, the hapless ape, 
but still manage to overtake Robin and 
Andrea on the final bend. The couple 
appear to be having some kind of on-screen 
domestic and are more intent on knocking 
each other into the icy pool than reaching 
the finishing line. Finally, Robin snaps. 
Robin: "I hate videogames! Aaaarrrghhhh!" 
Mark: (sporting a very sinister grin) "No-one 
will ever beat me at Mario Karff' 

Mark proceeds to enact a bizarre war 
dance around the room, knocking over beer 
cans and stamping Wheat Crunchiesjnto the 
carpet. Andrea and Robin have both 
collapsed in exhaustion, but nothing has 
been seen of Rich since he left Mario 
spinning in circles on Lap 2. 

A search of the house reveals that Rich 
has already gone home to lick his wounds - 
and no doubt get some practice in for next 
time, even though we haven't told him what 
the theme is yet. With him out of the 

running, things swiftly draw to a conclusion. 
So there you have it: our second Games 
Night. It's once again left friendships - even 
relationships - in tatters. Inevitably, my house 
has been rendered a complete tip. Just 
imagine what it's going to be like when 
some real snow falls round here and MK 
someone suggests a snowball fight... *"* 

Games Night picks 

Hazy conclusions drawn from our strenuous night 
on the snowboarding slopes... 

1) Realism is fine, but 
you need to go the 
whole hog, providing 
players with some 
sense of exhilaration. 
Getting the likes of 
Swatch and Burton on 
board does not 
necessarily mean their 
boards are going to 
ride like the real thing. 

2) The downfall of 
realistic sims in a multi- 
player situation is that 
the only thing you can 
do to wind up your 
mates is beat them to 
the line. Something like 
Snowboard Kids has 
more potential. Even if 
you don't win a race, 
you can at least bask in 
the satisfaction of 
turning your buddies 
into snowmen. 

3) Endlessly looping 

made this cartoon racer 

Dreakbeats are no 

the firm favourite. 

substitute for a proper 

Completion of this 

theme tune. 

article was delayed by 

4) Anyone offended by 

impromptu games in 

staggering profanity 

the office. 

should keep well away 

from a Games Night. 


5) No way are you 


getting me anywhere 

Realistic touches made 

near a real piste. 

it feel like racing on real 

snow. The two-player 

The Winner 

races were boosted by 

Snowboard Kids 

a catch-up feature, 

Furious four-player 

and the clothes are 

action and a multitude 

suitably lurid. Full style 

of hilarious power-ups 

to the max. 

..-.-.■ ' J.-.E 






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Instant Win Competitions. If a competition is marked INSTANT WIN then you will be told if you are a winner during your call. Instant Win competitions have multiple 
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must beat a target score. 

Other competitions involve multiple choice questions with tiebreaker and end on the 28th February 1999, after which they may be replaced by a similar service on the 
same number. Entrants must be 16 or over. Calls are likely to last 8 mins. Calls cost 60p per minute (0640 numbers) and £1 per minute (0991 numbers), ^^^ 
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74 | Arcade |Januaiy| 1999 






Iow are you 
going to keep 
yourself warm 
this winter? You 
could turn the heating 
to max. You could 
layer the jumpers til 
you're of Michelin 
Man proportions. Or 
you could settle down 
in front of the fire with some 
hot buttered toast, a steaming 
Bovril and Arcade's pick of the 
hottest games for the coming 
year. It's all here: Britain's 
favourite genre (from Daikatana 
to Duke Nukem Forever, it's 3D 
shooters a-go-go), one or two 
old friends returning to show 
off new systems (Sega's Sonic 
Adventure promises to be eye- 
popping), older dogs learning 
new tricks (Mario himself in his 
first UK-release role playing 
game), near-forgotten favourites 
reappearing out of nowhere 
(Space Invaders is back! And 
R-Type\ And Donkey bloody 
/Cong!), the big getting bigger 
(who believes Final Fantasy VIII 
won't be colossal?), the famous 
getting famouser (new Resident 
Evil, Gran Turismo and Virtua 
Fighter offerings all vying for 
Biggest Thing Ever status), and 
even (get this!) a bunch of really 
original new games. It's all red- 
hot stuff, cooled only by the 
refreshing breeze you'll create as 
you flick through the next 20 
pages, jaw a-gape in wonder. 


Over the next 20 pages... 


Fastest Bends 


Nastiest Bruises 


Hardest Punches 

80 Choicest Tunes 

80 Craftiest Plots 


Maddest Shoot-outs 


Biggest Sequels 


Scariest Scenarios 


Oddest Adventures 


Newest Icons 


Stealthiest Sneaks 


Beefiest Blasts 


Longest Nights 


Ugliest Enemies 

■ Driver's pink and black 
cop cars soon became the 
talk of the town. 




■ Developer: Reflections 

■ Publisher: TBA ■ Release 
date: April 

"Be" Ryan O'Neal in this high 
octane cocktail of classic yank 
tanks, banks jobs, and rubber- 
shredding action. 

■ What is it? Ever wondered why 
there wasn't a Destruction Derby 3? 
Because the series' creator Reflections 
retired to its sunny Gateshead HQ to 
come up with this - a driving game 
taking the name and the attitude of 
Walter Hill's 1978 tyre-squealer. 

Imagine the cars of DD2 with 
improved handling, realistic independent 
suspension and better looks, driving 
around near-as-dammit models of 
four American cities, running red lights, 
mounting pavements and leading 
frantic multi-police car chases. Now 
add missions of the Grand Theft Auto 
variety (you drive a getaway car from 
a bank heist, or deliver packages of 
Peruvian marching powder) and in a 
nutshell you've got Driver. 

■ Why should I care? We know 
that Reflections is a master of motors, 
and the car-handling and collision 
model in Driver (tyre tracks are left on 
roads, hub caps fly off, trash cans are 

side-swiped and litter-filled narrow 
alleys are pelted down) is second to 
none. The cities (Miami, San Francisco, 
New York and LA) are as big as the real 
thing, more or less, and the different 
missions and tasks should maintain 
interest levels at a healthy high. 

■ Watch out for: The replay option. 
After a particularly pleasing car chase 
you can take control of the cameras, 
moving them to just the right spot as 
your skill outwits and totals tens of 
hapless cop cars, recreating Bullitt, 
Gumball Rally or Gone in 60 Seconds. 


Roll Cage 

■ Developer: Attention to 
Detail ■ Publisher: 
Psygnosis ■ Release date: 

It's like WipEout, but 
with f lippable buggies 
that' re equally happy 
driving upside-down. 

■ What is it? Imagine 
WipEout but with wheels, 
on lager rather than disco 
drugs, and shifting to a big 
beat soundtrack rather than 

head-nodding techno, and 
you're getting close. The 
cars are like those remote 
control ones that flip over 
when they hit a wall and 
the tracks are designed 
to let you test these clever- 
clog motors to their limits. 
Driving on the ceiling is 
encouraged, while a range 
of pick up weapons allow 
explosions to wrack the 
almost pop-up free circuits. 
■ Why should I care? 
Because it's not trying as 
hard as WipEout to be cool, 
this could actually turn out 
to be even more fun to play 
than the PlayStation's 


original future racer. It 
should also have a far 
gentler learning curve and 
generally funkier feel. This 
time round there's much 
more emphasis on spoiling 
opponent's races with your 
heavy weaponry and less 
on perfecting air-braking 
racing lines. Because your 
balloon-tyred buggy's more 
or less unstoppable, Mario 
/Cart-like riotousness 
abounds, particularly in the 
two-player mode. 
■ Watch out for: Falling 
chunks of masonry as track- 
side buildings collapse on 
top of your motor. 


January | 1 999 1 Arcade | 75 


Mf\ R4: Ridge Racer 
C3 Type 4 

^F ■ Developer: Namco 
■ Publisher: Namco 

■ Release date: March (TBC) 

One of gammer's most famous 
racing series returns - and in 
stunning form. 

■ What is it? The latest in the 
ageing series of Ridge Racer games for 
PlayStation promises to recapture much 
of its previous glory. Gran Turismo may 
have stolen the PlayStation racing 
crown, but now Namco wants it back. 

■ Why should I care? Because it 
looks as if Namco may well succeed. 
The company is certainly pulling no 
punches in making sure the 

game launches with a big 
splash in Japan around 
Christmas '98. As well as a 
competitive new Grand Prix 
mode, RR4 is set to include 
eight tracks and more than 
300 car variations. The 
scenery is said to be 
gorgeous, and you can 
expect to see some 
big graphical f ~~ 


improvements to 

76 1 Arcade | January 

the multi-vehicle stack-ups. Free with 
the new RR game comes a special 
enhanced version of the original 
Ridge Racer, along with a demo disc 
featuring other Namco hits such as the 
RPG Tales of Destiny, soccer contender 
Libero Grande, the fighting classic 
Tekken 3 and the action-packed Kaze 
No Kuronoa. Namco's even releasing a 
special version of RR4 with its own 
steering wheel controller. 

Sony's new PocketStation gizmo 
(it's like a miniature Game Boy that 
plugs into your PlayStation's memory 
card slot) will also add extra features to 
the game. If you're the proud owner of 
a PocketStation (and why not? They 
will only cost about £20) then you can 
use it to download customisable car 
information and race your favourite 
vehicles at a friend's house. All in all, 
then, we're talking one of 1999's 

biggest releases from one of Japan's 
videogame giants. 

\ ■ Watch out for: Quite 
simply, some of the most lush 
and detailed graphics ever seen 
on PlayStation. 


Three-quarters of the way 
to Selly Oak, Neil realised he'd 
forgotten to pack the picnic. 

Sega Rally 2 

■ Developer Sega 

■ Publisher Sega 

■ Release date September (TBC) 

The driving force behind 
Sega's new 128-bit 

■ What is it? Over the years, 
Sega has earned a reputation for 
delivering some of the world's best 
coin-ops. Sega Rally 2 is currently 
state-of-the-art in terms of tight- 
cornerin', grit-sprayin' rallying thrills, 
and now it's coming home. 

■ Why should I care? Sega Rally 
2 has only been in the arcades for 
six months or so - we really are 
talking state of the art here. If Sega 
can deliver anything like a close, 
recognisable conversion - with all 
the speed, features 
(like the choice of six 
different cars plus 
bonus vehicles) and 
glorious graphics of 
the original more or 

less intact - to its Dreamcast home 
system in the short amount of time 
it's allowed itself (the game is 
actually scheduled for release in 
Japan in the very last days of '98, 
though we'll get it towards the end 
of the year, naturally), the company 
should have a serious hit on its 
hands. But, amazingly enough, 
Sega's aiming even higher, hoping 
to improve on the arcade version 
by including a customise-your-car 
option (giving you the chance to 
fiddle about with gear ratios, brake 
balance and suspension), a ten-year 
championship mode (with each 
year featuring four distinct 
seasons), a split-screen two-player 
mode and even an eight-car multi- 
player game designed to be used 
with Dreamcast's built-in modem. 
■ Watch out for: An in-car 
navigator who occasionally calls 
you "baby." No, we're serious. 

State-of-the-art in 
terms of tight-cornerin; 
grit-sprayin' rallying 


Machines 64 

■ Developer: Codemasters 

■ Publisher: Codemasters 

■ Release date: February 

Speedy racing with the 
smallest cars in the 
whole wide world. 

■ What is it? It's a new 
version of the classic toy-car 
3D-esque racer, based on 
essential real-life training 
tracks like school desks and 
kitchen table-tops. Micro 
Machines comes complete 

with the distinctive high-up, 
top-down viewpoint and 
time-gobbling multi-player 
mode that made the earlier 
PC and PlayStation versions 
such a treat. 

■ Why should I care? A 
decent conversion should 
offer the funniest and most 
frantic racing this side of 
The Cannonball Run, with 
up to eight players taking 

part thanks to a joypad- 
sharing design. Chuck in 48 
courses and the chance to 
construct your very own 
customised car, and there'll 
be N64 owners crying with 
happiness come '99. 
■ Watch out for: 
Interesting wrist fractures, 
garnered as you attempt to 
share your controller with 
another player. 



■ Developer: Europress 

■ Publisher: Europress 

■ Release date: Spring 

Mud-splattered, wall-hitting, 
crowd-avoiding, ditch-dumping 
RAC rally action. 

■ What is it? The original Network 
Q RAC Rally Championship was praised 
for its photorealistic backdrops, but 
also for an authentic road that varied 
from tricky over-cambered tracks that 
could dump you into a ditch at the 
slightest wrong move to concave 
routes with high banks to bash into. It 
was also, however, criticised on three 
different counts. The first was that it 
suffered from "glass tunnel" syndrome, 
in that you were kept strictly to the 
track, no matter what you did. The 
second was that it was horrendously 
hard to control with keys: an analogue 
joystick was a must. The third was that 
the name was too long, and reducing 
it to NQRACRC looked silly. 

■ Why should I care? Rally 
Championship '99 aims to improve 
matters on all counts. It'll remove all 
signs of the glass wall. The tracks are 
no longer single and restrictive, but 
based on Ordnance Survey maps, with 
forks, dead ends, hidden routes and 
very few limitations on where you can 
drive. There are over ten rally cars 
available, each with new tumbling and 
collision routines. Even the name is a 
vast improvement. 

■ Watch out for: Sharp corners. 
Cows. Stray punters. The usual stuff. 

Kids II 

■ Developer: Racdym 

■ Publisher: Atlus 

■ Release date: Spring 

Watch small children smack 
themselves up on the white 
stuff. Again - ha ha! 

■ What is it? A tongue-in- 
cheek cutesy snowboarding 
game, with simplistic controls 
and courses liberally littered with 
little penguins and snowmen. 
Additions to this snowy sequel 

include customisable characters 
(including four newbies), 15 new 
boards, bosses to defeat and an 
improved multi-player mode. 

■ Why should I care? The 
original Snowboard Kids was 
fast, simple fun; easy to pick up, 
difficult to master, but a laugh all 
the way - and it boasted one of 
the most enjoyable multi-player 
experiences that's available on 
Nintendo (and anywhere). If the 
sequel manages to improve on 
matters, publisher Atlus is bound 
to be on to a winner. 

■ Watch out for: The new big 
boss character Damien. Is he 
actually the devil in disguise? 
We're beginning to thing so... 


WWF Attitude 

■ Developer: Iguana 

■ Publisher: Acclaim 

■ Release date: TBA 

WWF Warzone spawns an 
oiled-up wrestling sequel. 

■ What is it? Well, surprisingly, 

9 No Fear 

■ Developer: Codemasters 

■ Publisher: Codemasters 

■ Release date: Spring 

Just about the first mountain 
biking game since Mountain 
Bike Simulator on Spectrum... 

■ What is it? Ever since boys 
discovered that turning the rear 
mudguard upside down on a Grifter 
makes it sound a bit like a motorbike, 
they have been fascinated by push- 
bikes - and, in particular, the knobbly- 
tyred off-road jobbies. It's fast. It's 
varied. It makes you wonder why 
videogaming has coughed up so few 
bike sims over the years... 

■ Why should I care? The downhill 
tracks span ten international locations, 
from the dusty deserts of Morocco to 
the volcanoes of Japan. You'll be able 
to adapt your suspension and brakes 
for the varying terrain, and upgrades 
will become available as the game 
progresses. And you should expect 
championships, single races, time trials 
and a split-screen two-player option. 
No Fear is a simulation in the style of 
TOCA or Colin McRae, where getting 
to grips with your bike's handling is 
going to be as important as learning 
the twists and turns of the tracks. 

■ Watch out for: A multitude of 
assorted shameless references to the 
No Fear clothing label. 

it's a wrestling game. Details are 
still scarce, but expect the usual 
gaggle of brainless six-packs 
pretending to cause injury to 
their comrades. As most of the 
strength of previous grappling 
games has come from their 
multi-player modes, you can 
expect plenty of doubled-up 
leotard action, too. 

■ Why should I care? 
Warzone defied the rubbishness 
of its chosen sport and turned 
out rather well, with wrestlers 
lovingly crafted in hi-res, a stay- 
up-all-night multi-player game 
and the too-good-to-be-true 
create-a-wrestler option. The 
release of Attitude should offer 
all that and lots more. 

■ Watch out for: Some bone- 
crunching moves, designed to 
make your eyes water. 

Expect the usual gaggle 
of brainless six-packs 4 

January | 1 999 1 Arcade | 77 



Where winners rarely abide by 
Marquis of Queensbury rules... 

Oodles of special moves plus a 
magic-and-f ighting story line 


Jfk Ehrgeiz 

lfJJUl ■ Developer Namco/ 
^UF Squaresoft 

• ■ Publisher TBA ■ Release 
date TBA 

Cloud, Tifa and pals return 
in 1999's dream ticket. 

■ What is it? While 
most western eyes 
were fixed on the Final v 
Fantasy VIII demo that came 
bundled with Square's Brave 
Fencer Musashiden, the more 
learned gamer clicked on the 
playable demo of Ehrgeiz. And 
wasn't disappointed. Co- 
produced by Namco and 

Square, Ehrgeiz is a 3D action/beat-'em- 
up with all the techie strengths of the 
bods that produced Tekken 3 and Final 
Fantasy VII. An arcade release in North 
America and Japan only, Ehrgeiz boasts 
fully interactive environments (think 
Bushido Blade, but better), 360° control, 
oodles of special moves plus a magic- 
and-fighting story line 
^- worthy of Tekken itself. 
Not enough? Well, 
there's the small 
matter of a few 
hidden guest stars 
- namely, Cloud, 
Tifa, Vincent, 
Sephiroth and Yuffie 
of Final Fantasy VII 
fame! "God Bless The 
Ring!" runs the 

legend adorning the Ehrgeiz Web site 
Damn straight. 

■ Why should I care? Because this 
is possibly a good idea of what Tekken 
4 could look like. 

■ Watch out for: The PlayStation- 
only Quest mode - not in the arcades 
and perfect for RPGheadz. 


Marvel Vs 

■ Developer: Capcom 

■ Publisher: Capcom 

■ Release date: Winter 

The cartoon beat-'em-up 
series finally finds its feet 
with Sega's new system. 

■ What is it? After a whole 
bunch of so-so beat-'em-ups, 
featuring various groupings of 
characters from the Capcom 
back catalogue, Marvel Vs 
Capcom looks to be the one 
that will finally have the kids 

flocking back to the arcades. 
And guess what? It's getting a 
Dreamcast conversion. 

■ Why should we care? 
Bigger combos, faster action, 
tag-team contests and loud, 
loud colours. The character list 
is set to include the big-name 
likes of Ryu, Jin and Megaman 
on one side and Spider-Man, 
Wolverine and Captain America 
on the other. 

■ Watch out for: Characters 
rolling into huge combos from 
the sidelines whenever their 
partners are taking a beating. 



■ Developer: Tigon 

■ Publisher: EIDOS 

■ Release date: May 

One ninja... and his dog. 

■ What is it? Third person 
action featuring a ninja and his 
leg-savaging pet. EIDOS is calling 
it a cross between Tomb Raider 
and Soul Blade, with puzzles, 
exploration and weapon-based 
combat tied into a strong story 
line which developer Tigon, er, 
"hasn't finalised yet". There'll be 
30 or more characters to set 

your hound a-savaging, and full 
interaction with the surrounding 
scenery is promised. 

■ Why should I care? Well, 
for a start your pooch could 
turn out to be an interesting 
feature. It'll be CPU controlled 
for the most part, but you'll be 
able to send it leaping toward 
enemies throats using the 
appropriate button press. 

Graphically the game's 
already looking very slick, with 
some detailed characters and 
impressive locations. 

■ Watch out for: Man's best 
friend helping out when called 
upon and thus earning a big 
tickle under the ears. 


■ Developer: Capcom ■ Publisher: 
Capcom ■ Release date: Winter 

Innovative new beat-'em-up where 
everyday furniture becomes part 
of your impromptu weaponry. 

■ What is it? A graphically stunning 
beat-'em-up, set in large arenas, where 
you can pick up objects and use them 
during fighting. Few details abound, but 
Powerstone should be an intriguing 
alternative to existing beat-'em-ups. 

■ Why should I care? It's from arcade 
giants Capcom, a company that's home 
to the once world-dominating Street 
Fighter games. Powerstone could take 
button-bashing to a new dimension. 

■ Watch out for: Flying masonry. 



Street Fighter 
Alpha 3 

■ Developer: Capcom 

Publisher: Capcom 

■ Release date: TBC 

The Street Fighter series is back, 
and still defiantly in 2D. 

■ What is it? The latest and 
potentially greatest game in the most 
successful beat-'em-up series ever. 
Street Fighter Alpha 3 looks like being 
a stunning conversion of the peerless 
2D arcade scrapper, with the largest 
collection of characters (over 25 at last 
count) in any SF game and sense- 
assaulting special effects. There'll be 
several additions to the game's still 
unmatched combat mechanics, with 

a guard gauge that depletes as you 
block and a fistful of new super-move 
options squaring up alongside the 
usual PlayStation-specific ways to play. 

■ Why should I care? It should be 
the best Street Fighter game yet, with 
spectacular 2D graphics layered on top 
of Capcom's tried, tested and newly 
tweaked fighting system. It'll also be 
PocketStation-compatible, enabling 
you to save characters to Sony's PDA, 
then upload them into a proper game. 

■ Watch out for: E Honda - the 
face slapping sumo character makes a 
long overdue return to the SF series! 

78 1 Arcade | January 1 1 999 

A Prince Naseem 
13 Boxing 

^Hp ■ Developer: Codemasters 
■ Publisher: Codemasters 

■ Release date: Spring 

Boxing game featuring the 
undefeated 23-year-old WBO 
Featherweight Champion. 

■ What is it? You know the Prince, 
of course. He's the one with the girly 
leopard-skin shorts, who is (at time of 
writing) undefeated in 31 fights, having 
knocked out 28 of his opponents. 
Some may argue the relevance of a 
sportsman lending his name to a game 
(were Colin McRae's rally and p. 
Pete Samprass' tennis 

games actually better for the official 
endorsements?), but Naseem's great 
showmanship and skill are certainly 
two credentials that lend themselves to 
a relevant tie-in. 

■ Why should I care? Boxing 
games have always suffered from 
limited moves; compared to Tekken- 
style epics, full of elaborate kicks, 
punches and special attacks, boxing's 
less spectacular high punch/low punch 
options can feel a little tired at times. 
Nas Boxing aims to rectify this problem, 
balancing the requirements of accurate 
boxing sim and fun arcade game. 

■ Watch out for: Nas' reaction to 
the reviews when they come in. 


■ Developer: Syrox 

■ Publisher: Activision 

■ Release date: Autumn 

Liked Capcom's X-Men Vs Street 
Fighter! You'll like this more... 

■ What is it? Angry mutated 
teenagers in 'cng Johns. 

■ Why should I care? Because 
these particular angry mutated 
teenagers in long Johns have been 
selling millions of comics since the mid- 
'80s. Rejecting the style of Capcom's 
increasingly dated 2D translations, 
Marvel's X-Men have at last been given 
the full Tekken makeover necessary to 
challenge the Namco beat-'em-up 
hegemony. Developed by Britsoft bods 
Syrox, X-Men will be the.ful! polygonal 

monty, with a dynamic 3D camera, fluid 
animation plus a planned 50 or more 
special moves. A RPG-alike Story Mode 
is promised, featuring Marvel-animated 
FMV scenes, bi it with such scrap-happy 
characters as Magneto, Iceman, Storm 
and Wolverine (the man who makes 
Batman look like a ladyblouse), it's 
X-Men' s comic-book carnage that will 
ultimately appeal. Round One... FIGHT! 
■ Watch out for: A Time Ripple 
option, where you can conjure up your 
future self for special move mayhem. 


Jackie Chan's 

■ Developer: Extreme 
Studios ■ Publisher: SCEE 

■ Release date: Spring 

And tonight on Fbts in 
Their Eyes, you are 
Jackie Chan! 

■ What is it? Produced in 
dose association with the 
Chanster himself, Extreme's 

'em-up hybrid is due to hit 
the UK early next year. Based 
around the post-modern 
premise that the reels of 
Jackie's latest blockbuster 
have been stolen, you must 
retrieve the film before the 
premiere can take place. That 
means loads of leaping, 
crouching, swinging and, 
indeed, kung fu chopsocking 
- all of it motion-captured 
and all of it in the playful style 
of Chan's gag-packed movies. 
Although hardly a challenge 
to the more experienced 

gamer, the graphics are cute 
(Chan looks like a poised 
Pillsbury Dough Boy), the 
gameplay very entertaining 
(the use of any innovative 
behaviour is always rewarded) 
and the whole thing makes a 
refreshing change from the 
overly bloodsplattered likes of 
Tenchu and Bushido Blade. 

■ Why should I care? It's 
Jackie bloody Chan, dammit! 

■ Watch out for: The 
bilious hued Chan-endorsed 
Reeboks that the lil' fella 
leaps around in. 


January | 1 999 | Arcade | 79 




■ Developer: Konami 

■ Publisher: Konami 

■ Release date: March 

DJ cut 'n' mix for beginners 
- or Parappa for grown-ups? 
Perhaps if s a bit of both. 

■ What is it? Following in the same 
mad and marvellous footsteps as 
Parappa the Rapper and Bust-A- 
Groove, Beatmania requires you to tap 
out rhythms on- your joypad in order to 
create banging tunes. Tapping correct 
interpretations of on-screen prompts 
triggers samples which make up 
complete tracks in genres that range 
from hip-hop to house. Get your track 
wrong and you're punished with a 
screeching cacophony. The PlayStation 
version comes with its own special 
joypad, which houses a mini-turntable 
for additional freestyle scratching. It's 
such a bizarre concept, we had to put 
it in a category all of its own - 
essentially, Simon has comes of age. 

■ Why should we care? It's the 
game which has had Japanese 
arcades throbbing in a beat- 
inspired frenzy. It's initially hilarious 
and totally enduring. You can 
pretend you're king of the beats 
and then find out whether you 
really live up to the reputation. 

■ Watch out for: A 
two-player option for *-- ' 
furious DJ jousting. 

80 1 Arcade | January | 1999 

Final Fantasy VIII 

■ Developer Squaresoft 

■ Publisher TBA 

■ Release date Winter 

The sequel to the greatest RPG 
of all time readies itself for a 
Japanese roll-out, with the UK 
launch still a year away- 

■ What is it? It's the king of RPGs, 
the crown prince of real-time active 
battle systems and an entire royal family 
of characters, spells, magic and fierce 
combat, boasting what Square claims 
are the most powerful baddies ever 
devised for a videogame. It is, in short, 
the sequel to Final Fantasy VII, the one- 
time highest-grossing PlayStation game 
and all-time classic RPG. 

It's goodbye to familiar characters 
Cloud, Tifa, Barret and the gang, and 
hello Squall Leonheart and his buddies 
Seifer, Rinoa and Zell. All are students at 
The Garden, a highly prestigious military 
academy, and all are hoping to prove 
their worth and join See-D, the army's 
premier fighting division. What this 
comes down to is more of that familiar 
Final Fantasy mix of exploration and 
those random battles that the Japanese 
love so much. Once more backgrounds 
are pre-rendered, while all the 
characters are polygonal blokes 
drawn on the top. 

■ Why should I care? 

FFVII was an absolutely 

incredible landmark of a 

game, and VIII promises 

to improve on it in all 

areas, in particular with the look of the 
thing. Everything appears slightly more 
real here than in its predecessor - 
especially the characters (something 
that's caused more than a slight stink 
with hardcore fans in Japan). They'll be 
moving around in front of more realistic 
backdrops too, giving - the early 
scenes at any rate - the look of '50s 
Austria (only with added radar dishes 
and a fleet of attack hydrofoils). 
■ Watch out for: The new, 
simplified battle commands. That said, 

the fighting system in FFVIII will be 
instantly familiar to disciples of VII, with 
your characters able to attack when 
their time bar is full, giving combat a 
curious mixture of turn-based and real- 
time feel. The big change is in that the 
fiddly Materia-system (loved by experts; 
hated by everyone else) is no more, 
with Magic points being your only 
source of those stunning attacks. Your 
characters will be able to steal power 
from a foe, then use it to finance their 
own magic-intensive assault. 

IPs the king of RPGs, the crown 
prince of real-time active battle 



■ Developer Climax 

■ Publisher TBA 

■ Release date Winter 

Gorgeous and intricate 
Japanese RPG's don't get 
much more gorgeous or 
Intricate than this. 

■ What is it? One of the 

most keenly-awaited 
Dreamcast titles, this RPG 

features a whole 
host of 

personalities from 
Sword, the brave 
adventurer hero, to 
Rao, a man-lion hybrid 
and Marlin, a female 
elf -wizard. The goal 
of the game is rather 
ephemeral and mysterious 
(something along the lines 
of why-are-we-here?) and 
may only really become clear 
after much exploration and 
gathering of knowledge 
within the thing's strange 
and ever-changing world. 

You could, in fact, call Climax 
Landers the world's first 
existential RPG. 

■ Why should we care? 

Apart from the originality of 
the brilliant storyline and the 
meticulous characterisation, 
the game world's evolving 
yet intangible nature will 
actually affect the gameplay, 
with auto-generation 
of scenery meaning 
that no area you visit 
will ever be the same 
twice. There are 
certain idiosyncratic 
elements of Climax 
Landers which 
may be viewed 
as "too Japanese" 
by more 
m^ conservative UK 
Wm publishers, but let's 
y| hope not. This 

game could well 
— ' be set to make as 
big an impact as the Final 
Fantasy series. 

■ Watch out for: Who 
knows? In fact, who are 
you? Who am I? Why are we 
here? What are we doing? 



£j\ Silver 

y \ | ■ Developer: 
\Mr Infogrames 
^? ■ Publisher: Infogrames 

■ Release date: February 

Your job is to free the world 
from wizardly tyranny in 
this heavy-on-the-myth- 
and-mystery French RPG. 

■ What is it? It's a role-playing 
extravaganza that's packed with 
3D characters, played out in a 
glorious pre-rendered world. You 
live under the pointy jackboot of 
the evil wizard Silver and, as 
David (a knight with a useful 
armoury of magical powers), 
seem to be just the chap to 
depose this dictatorial spellcaster. 
Cue a quest to obtain eight 
magic orbs, and interact with an 
ever-growing cast of supporting 
characters who'll give you all the 
assistance you need. 

■ Why should I care? If you 
liked Final Fantasy VII, you'll 
probably go a bundle on this one 
too. It's got exploration, role- 
playing, magic, and a whole load 
of fighting as well - the full set. 
You can go hand-to-hand or kit 
yourself out with a variety of 
heavy-duty weapons - your 
choice - and if you need that 
extra edge you can nab a potion 
to boost your powers or cripple 
your enemy. In our book it's 
better than FFVII's combat 
system, any day. 

■ Watch out for: The very 
best Doctor Who of them all 
(depending on your age). Tom 
Baker is one of ten actors to lend 
his vocal talents to Silver. 


4f\ Anachronox 

jf*A H Developer: Ion Storm 
W ■ Publisher: EIDOS 
^s Interactive 

■ Release date: Spring 

Tear across the galaxy in this 
character-packed monster-fest. 

■ What is it? Just your average romp 
across the galaxy, hunting down lost 
alien technology and mysterious beings 

hellbent on destroying 
the universe. 
■ Why should I care? 

It's a mixture of storytelling 
and role-playing, using the 
best 3D technology known 
to man (yep, the familiar 
old Quake II engine, 
again but with added 
effects, courtesy of 
the pixel magicians 
at Ion Storm). There 
are almost 500 
characters to meet and interact 
with, over 150 monsters to engage in 
battle and a team of eight player 
characters to choose between, led by 
big-coat-wearing Sylvester "Sly" Boots. 
Crazy name, crazy guy. 
■ Watch out for: DIY guns! 
Anachronox features a modular 
weapons system that enables you to 
build your own - making, we're told, 
for even more satisfying kills. 

! Neil couldn't 
elp but feel hi 


[working title] 

■ Developer: Konami 

■ Publisher: Konami 

■ Release date: April 

Sword fighting action 
adventure with very 
high innards-on-the- 
f loor count. 

■ What is it? A beautifully 
drawn 3D action adventure, 
set in 17th century Japan. 
You'll need to master sword 
fighting techniques and 
slash your way through 
enemy clans, gangs of ninjas 
and flocks of vampire bats. 
Originally called Japan, and 
then Shoguri Assassin, 
Samurai Legends is still not 
the final title - watch this 
space for updates. 

■ Why should I care? A 
choice of two playable 
characters will provide two 
very distinct adventures. 

■ Watch out for: Gore, 
gore, Japanese mythical 
history and more gore. 

ff\ Diablo 2 

^^^J ■ Developer: 
tKJ Blizzard 
^ ■ Publisher: Sierra 

■ Release date: Summer 

Blizzard's back, this time 
with a devilish sounding 
traditional-style RPG. 

■ What is it? An isometric 
viewed, real-time role-playing 
game - and the sequel to last 
year's hugely popular original. 


■ Developer: Gremlin 
Interactive ■ Publisher: 
Gremlin Interactive 

■ Release date: Autumn 

Surprisingly, nothing to 
do with James Brown. 

■ What is it? A fantasy- 
based role-playing game 
depicted using a full 3D, 
rotational graphics engine. 

■ Why should I care? 
Although it's still at a very 
early stage, the flexibility of 
Soulbringers visuals, and 
the complex, ever-evolving 
storyline that's promised, 
could make this game into 

a real contender in the 
forthcoming 3D RPG wars. 
The game's world contains 
hugely detailed towns, 

■ Why should I care? 

Blizzard has addressed all 
criticisms of the original, 
adding more involving, 
traditional RPG 
elements that 
should improve on 
the formerly rather 
primitive combat. You 
can choose any one of 
five character classes 
(you get Amazon, 
Barbarian, Paladin, 
Necromancer and 
Sorceress - yes, 
that lot again), 
each with unique 

villages, wastelands and 
forests - all populated by 
motion-captured non- 
player characters (NPCs). 
Movement is polygon- 
dependent rather than tile- 
based, making for more 
sophisticated path-finding, 
while over 500 inventory 
items should give it legs. 
■ Watch out for: Camera 
angles that alter dynamically 
- offering the best possible 
view of the current action. 

Are you 
lookin' at me? 

abilities. A plethora of non- 
playing characters 
and monsters will 
populate the huge 
levels - every 
single one of which 
are randomly- 
meaning no two 
games should ever be the 
same. 3D card support is 
now in the bag too. 
■ Watch out for: A 
massive array of spells 
and combat systems 
specific to each 
character class. 


Amen: The 

■ Developer: Cavedog 

Publisher: GT Interactive 

■ Release date: June 

First-person shooter fans have 
prayers answered by white- 
robed gods at Cavedog. 

■ What is it? Cavedog, the company 
that made its name with the release 
of exceptional Red Alert rival Total 
Annihilation, is branching out into the 
3D shooter genre. 

■ Why should I care? Unlike the 
majority of Quake II and Unreal clones, 
Amen: The Awakening promises to be 
something a little bit different - a 
game that blends great traditional 
adventure-style storytelling with the 
kind of 3D action we've come to 
expect from the likes of id and Epic. 

The game sees you take on the 
role of an SAS commando, sent 
Stateside to investigate the rapidly 
deteriorating mental health of the 
American population - a third of them 
have somehow turned into gibbering 
lunatics labelled "The Afflicted". In 
order to best present the game's 
unfolding narrative, Cavedog has 
written a proprietary engine, rather 
than license existing technology. By 
doing this, the team claims it's been 
able to create literally miles of outdoor 
and indoor terrain, much of which has 
been modelled on real world locations. 
Complementing the realistic milieu, 
you can expect the puzzles to be 
brain-achingly taxing, yet very logical. 
Manipulation of the environment will 
extend way beyond just simple key 
collection and usage, while stealth is 
also said to play a large part. 

■ Watch out for: An engaging 
narrative, realistic environments and 
beautifully modelled characters. 

J^lllllll » 

January | 1 999 1 Arcade 1 81 


■ Developer: Quantic 
Dream ■ Publisher: 
EIDOS Interactive 

■ Release date: Spring 

A soul, a soul, a soldier I will be... 

■ What is it? A 3D adventure game 
with a hefty helping of action and a 
sprinkling of theological mumbo- 
jumbo. To boot: Virtual Reincarnation. 

■ Why should I care? Because it's 
integral to the game. In most games 
you die, then restart where you last 

saved. In Omikron your soul hangs 
around until someone comes too close 
to your dead body, then you can leap in 
and take over (a bit like in the Denzel 
Washington film Fallen, perhaps). But 
just in case you get too cocky with the 
old death thing, the longer your chosen 
body survives, the better it becomes. 
It's a bit like the old classic Paradroid, 
really; pick a body that you like the 
look of, then nab it. 
■ Watch out for: The free-flowing 
problem solving. There's no set way to 
solve any puzzle, so there's no need to 
get stuck and throw the game away. 
Just muddle through and you'll get 
there in the end, even if you die trying. 


■ Developer: Rebel Act 
Studios ■ Publisher: 
Gremlin Interactive 

■ Release date: Summer 

It's like a Frank Frazetta 
painting come to life... 

■ What is it? A mainly 
third-person hack-and-slash- 
fest, enabling you to chose 
between three sword-and- 

sorcery staples - the Conan- 
like male barbarian, the 
dwarf or the well-endowed 
female Amazon. 
■ Why should I care? 
Blade's visuals are truly 
next-generation, while a 
strong exploration element 
should add an element of 
depth to the proceedings. 
Unprecedented real-time 
lighting effects give the 
game a highly atmospheric 
feel, while fine detailing 
(like convincing reflections in 
water) and huge draw 

distances should ensure 
that these environments 
are some of the most 
realistic you've yet seen in 
a PC game. 

■ Watch out for: Real- 
time object collision that 
sees things move according 
to the laws of real-world 
physics. Brilliant. 

Over-the-top explosions, gorgeous 
graphics suited to each time 
and a host of enemies... 


Duke Nukem: 
Zero Hour 

■ Developer: Eurocom 

■ Publisher: GT Interactive 

Release date: Summer 

The merchant of bad taste 
returns, and this time he's 
brought a new perspective. 

■ What is it? Pure shooting action, 
viewed from behind the Dukester and 
featuring more guns and explosions 
than an episode of Baywatch Nights - 
and the same degree of realism. Duke 
needs to travel between different time 
zones, exterminating aliens who are 
out to delete him from the history 
books, and ultimately finish off 
mankind for good. Zero Hour 
features mission-based 

levels and a sniper mode, both now 
compulsory under GoldenEye Law. 

■ Why should I care? The mission 
structure should make this rather more 
enjoyable than your average third- 
person blaster and better still, having 
been developed separately from the 
disappointing PlayStation Duke game 
Time to Kill, Zero Hour will take full 
advantage of the N64 plus 4Mb 
Expansion Pak combination. Also: over- 
the-top explosions, gorgeous graphics 
suited to each time zone and a host 
of enemies filling up the screen at any 
one time, including one great stopover 
in Victorian England where Duke is 
smothered by zombies. Spook! 

■ Watch out for: A distinct lack of 
naked dancing ladies. 

82 | Arcade | January | 1999 

^t Daikatana 

WjS J ■ Developer: Ion Storm 
^■r ■ Publisher: EIDOS 

■ Release date: February 

It should have appeared a year 
ago, but John Romero's master 
work is nearly here (at last). 

■ What is it? The long-awaited first- 
person shooter that Doom/Quake co- 
creator John Romero's been working 
on since co-founding Ion Storm. 

■ Why should I care? Romero was 
the designer behind three of the best 
PC games of all time, id Software's 
Doom, Doom II and Quake. Daikatana 

sounds as ambitious as any of them, 
and takes place over four distinct 
timescales: futuristic Japan, ancient 
Greece, the Dark Ages and modern- 
day San Francisco. Using a dramatically 
improved version of the Quake II 
engine, Daikatana will feature two 
sidekick characters who help you 
throughout the game, as well as over 
70 unique monsters - each of which 
is specific to its own time period. More 
than 25 weapons should be on offer, as 
well as the Daikatana itself - a cool 
Japanese sword that elicits the time- 
travelling aspect of the story line. 
■ Watch out for: Romero's well 
known for favouring Doom's style of 
large-scale warfare rather than Quake's 
minimalistic approach. So, expect hordes 
of creatures attacking simultaneously. 


im op^ i ' i inyyMpMljg 


Quake II 

■ Developer: Raster 

■ Publisher: Activision 

■ Release date: TBA 

You're sure to have a 
f raggin' good year with 
this classic blast. 

■ What is it? Oh, come 
on. The PC original of this 
gruesome first-person 3D 
shooter set the precedent 
for pretty much every 
successive contestant in the 
first-person game show. Its 
claustrophobic dungeons, 
insane bang-sticks, scary 
monsters and sleep- 

deprivating multi-player 
mode have helped build an 
international community of 
dedicated Quakers. 
m Why should I care? 
Because it's simply one of 
the world's most enjoyable 
blood-fests. The PSX and 
N64 versions are striving to 
be as similar to their PC dad 
as possible, but are sneakily 
slipping in a whole load of 
improvements, including 
some exclusive levels, new 
weapons and split-screen 
multi-player antics. 
■ Watch out for: The gun 
known as BFG. Big Friendly 
Giant? Well, let's just say it's 
not particularly friendly... 

Duke Nukem 

■ Developer: 3D Realms 

■ Publisher: GT Interactive 

■ Release date: Spring 

Gaming's big, dumb 
macho-man is back. 

■ What is it? The latest 

Duke Nukem blaster, this 
time using the game engine 
from Unreal. 

■ Why should I care? 

Expect to see the graphical 
twists that made Unreal 
such a delight, including lens 
flare and reflective surfaces, 
married with a fiendish line 
in weapons and security 
cameras from Nukem 3D. By 
combining elements from 
two top games, Nukem 
Forever should play like a 
dream and bring in interest 
from double the fan base. 

■ Watch out for: The 
only game character, who's 
man enough for Lara Croft 
(at least, we think so). 


Point Blank 2 

Quake Arena 

■ Developer: id ■ Publisher: Activision 

■ Release date: TBA 

The multi-player sequel to one of 
the (all together now) Biggest 
Games of All Time. 

■ What is it? The traditional Quake 
format - big men in massive dungeons 
shooting colossal guns, all rendered in 
splendid first person 3D - but with the 
single-player "story" mode replaced 
with multi-player action. Eerily, though, 
the other players are actually highly- 
intelligent computer-controlled "bots". 

■ Why should I care? Multi-player 
Quake is widely regarded as the most 
addictive, exciting and pleasingly violent 
gaming experience of the century, and 
so a sequel that enables you enjoy this 
without having either any friends or an 
Internet connection handy is a certified 
Good Thing. Coupled with some visual 
and aural improvements, you'll find it 
hard to ignore this one. 

■ Watch out for: The opportunity to 
customise your character's death throes. 

■ Developer: Namco ■ Publisher: Sony 

■ Release date: TBC 

It'll be just like having a fairground in 
your very own living room... 

■ What is it? Blow the silver trumpets of 
merriment! The original Point Blank was an 
end-of-the-pier, shooting gallery-style flipside 
of Namco's other light gun game. Time Crisis. 
This sequel is more of the quite-clearly-crazed 
same, packing in 70-odd sharp shooting tests, 
a new adventure mode to blast your way 
through and "party play", enabling eight turn- 
taking snipers to crowd round the TV. 

■ Why should I care? Because it'll be fun - 
not something that, Time Crisis aside, you can 
usually level at light gun games. You need to 
get more use out of that 40-quid G-Con gun 
after all, and Point Blank 7s dual player mode 
should provide the ideal opportunity. 

■ Watch out for: The eight-player party 
mode. Your G-Con-equipped front room will 
never feel like the same place again. 

V * 



Developer: 3D Realms 

■ Publisher: GT Interactive 

■ Release date: Spring 

Once again, the Earth is 
depending on you. 

■ What is it? The newest 
big thing from 3D Realms, 
creator of the Duke Nukem 
games. It's an into-the- 
screen Qua/ce-style blaster, 
and stars Talon Brave (hem 
hem), a native American 
who has to take on three 
different alien species. 

■ Why should I care? It's 
the 3D engine that really 
makes a first-person blaster, 
and Prey's game engine 
promises to be something 
rather spectacular. If you 
know your history, you'll 
know that the engine used 
for previous Duke Nukem 
games was superseded by 
the one used in Unreal. Well, 
now Prey's engine is going 
to supersede that one. This 
promises to be one helluva 
big, big game. 

■ Watch out for: Plenty 
of gushing blood. 


■ Developer: Epic 

■ Publisher: GT Interactive 

■ Release date: Winter 

Some say it's the best PC 
game ever. There wasn't 
a console capable of 
containing it - until 
Dreamcast came along. 

■ What is it? Astonishing 
first-person shooter that, 
when it appeared for the 
PC, knocked Quake off its 
perch (for the single-player 
option at least). Arguably it 
has only just been bettered 
by Half-Life, and was so 
intense, you needed to run 
it on a 400MHz Pll to get 
the best results. 

■ Why should I care? If 
Unreal successfully converts 
to Dreamcast, it will be the 
first time that we can all 
experience those hefty 
shootout thrills without 
kowtowing to Bill Gates. 

■ Watch out for: 
Something amazing lurking 
around every corner. 



■ Developer: Rage 
I Publisher: Rage 
I Due: Winter 

The multi-vehicle blaster 
comes to Dreamcast. 

■ What is it? A shoot- 
'em-up in the old skool 
style, combining practically 
every great shoot-'em-up 
moment from every great 
shoot-'em-up ever into one 
great, blastastic shoot-'em- 
up amalgam. You name it, 
you probably get to drive 
or fly it - tanks, AA-guns, 
chopper, planes, Incoming 
covers the lot. 

■ Why should I care? 
The PC version was visually 
stunning and it oozed with 
payability, bringing the 
shoot-'em-up out of early 
retirement, whipping away 
its bathchair and tartan rug, 
and shoving it down Ritzy's 
out on the pull on a Friday 
night. With the capabilities 
of Dreamcast, expect things 
to get even better. 

■ Watch out for: Very 
sore trigger fingers. 


January | 1 999 | Arcade 1 83 

Step away from my 
chocolate or I'll shoot 
your bloody hand off. 

f Perfect Dark 
■ Developer: Rare 
■ Publisher: Nintendo 
■ Release date: September 

GoldenEye made creeping down 
corridors and shooting baddies 
the most fun ever. Perfect Dark 
is aiming to go one better. 

■ What is it? A third-person shoot- 
'em-up, starring a feisty young lady and 
an X-ffles-style corporate conspiracy. 
Joanna Dark's mission to uncover the 
Datadyne Corp's sinister secrets takes 
her on a series of adventures, from 
bang-bang shoot-outs to pushing an 
unconscious alien to safety on a trolley, 
all done in pure and unadulterated 3D 
loveliness. A spaceship lying on the sea 

floor and the interior of the very scary 
Datadyne building are just some of the 
thrills on offer, and look out for the 
jetbike lying conveniently about on one 
of the levels, waiting for you to jump on 
and ride about at stupid speeds. 
■ Why should I care? The phrases 
"developed by Rare" and "sequel to 
GoldenEye" should be enough to have 
saliva dripping copiously from your lips. 
007 breathed new life into the shooting 
genre, heralding the happy marriage of 
Doom-style gunplay and proper puzzle- 
based missions, wrapping it all up in a 
delicious, believable environment. And 
Perfect Dark can only be better than 
this, especially as it'll improve the 
graphics immeasurably, thanks to the 
new Nintendo 4Mb Expansion Pak. 
But what should really make the 
game is that the loss of the Bond 
connection means Rare is now free to 

Discworld Noir 

■ Developer: Perfect 

■ Publisher: GT Interactive 

■ Release date: Spring 

More of Terry Pratchett's 
comic fantasy novels in 
playable form. 

■ What is it? A third 

game based on the 
successful Discworld 
novels, written by 
fantasy's answer to 
Douglas Adams, 
Terry Pratchett. 

Two inch high 
private eye. 

■ Why should I care? Gone 
are the garish 2D graphics and 
(some of the) rather deliciously 
immature humour of the first 
two games, replaced, instead, by 
a darker, more subtle (though 
still smile-inducing) 3D adventure 
with over 70 moody, dimly-lit 
interiors and multiple camera 
angles. The interface has been 
refined to include a new clue- 
based system. You play Lewton, 
a take-off on the traditional 
'40s-style private eye, with high 
emphasis placed on interaction 
with other game characters. 
Noir is an original story, unlike 
the first two games which were 
based on situations and 

characters from Pratchett's 
novels, and it looks like it's 
set to provide some of the 
moodiest moments 
of '99. 
■ Watch out 
for: 65 characters 
and 70 locations 
- it's massive. 



Grand Theft 
Auto 2 

■ Developer: DMA Design 

■ Publisher: Take 2 Interactive 

■ Release date: late 1999 

Police. Camera. Action! 

■ What is it? The follow up to 
last year's tabloid-friendly, drug 
dealing, joy-ride-'em up. The 
only thing definitely confirmed 
about GTA 2 is that it's coming 
out in late '99. Unsubstantiated 
rumours suggest you'll be able 
to recruit a "crew" and then ride 
around in a Transit van doing 

try out a whole host of new gameplay 
ideas that simply wouldn't have fitted in 
with the 007 mythology. Expect a ton 
of new weapons - and opportunities 
to use them to help solve puzzles, as 
well as for the more traditional brain- 
splattering purposes. The enemy Al is 
also far more complex, as the baddies 
work in teams and are able to assess 
the nature of threats before deciding 
on their course of action. 

As well as the traditional one-player 
shenanigans (with about 20 levels to 
plough your way through), Perfect Dark 
will also offer the almost obligatory 
four-player deathmatch scenario, not to 
mention a much more innovative, co- 
operative two-player mode. 
■ Watch out for: A gun that can 
auto-aim on several enemies at a time, 
with proper little square targeting boxes 
and everything. Sweet. 

"jobs" - perhaps an indication 
that the sequel's going to be set 
in Sarf London rather than LA, 
though this is more likely to turn 
up in a PC-only expansion pack, 
rather than in GTA 2 proper. 

■ Why should I care? The 
first GTA was a true original, 
overcoming the 16-bit look of 
its top down visuals with some 
engrossing gameplay and the 
sheer immoral joy of turfing 
law-abiding Americans out of 
their station wagons. GTA 2's 
likely to benefit from vastly 
improved graphics, but we can't 
help thinking a switch to full, 
first-person 3D is what's needed 
to make the sequel something 
really special. Whatever it looks 
like though, it's going to be the 
classic DMA bad taste/two- 
gameplay that brings the thing 
to crime-ridden life. 

■ Watch out for: The usual 
DMA shock-horror tabloid 
controversy. Deep joy. 

Descent 3 

I Developer: Outrage Software 

■ Publisher: Interplay 

■ Release date: Spring 

Hold on to your hats! Doom (but in 
a spaceship) is back... 

■ What is it? The third instalment of 
the most original first person blaster 
since Doom. This is, for those of you 
unfamiliar with it, the one where you 
fly into the belly of a planet, blasting 
baddies and frantically trying to make 
head or tail of the 3D map. 

■ Why should I care? Descent 3 has 
been created with a new game engine 
and will feature real-time transitions 
from internal to external environments. 
There are ten new weapons, three new 
ships, 15 massive, detailed levels and new 
effects such as wind, rain and fire. 

■ Look out for: The contents of your 
stomach putting in an appearance. 




■ Developer: Capcom 

■ Publisher: Capcom 

■ Release date: September (TBC) 

Oh fear, thy name is (usually) 
Resident Evil— 

■ What is it? The Japanese name for the 
game series westerners know as Resident Evil. 
Biohazard: Code Veronica, then, is a special 
Dreamcast version of Capcom's classic zombie- 
'em-up. Few details are known at this time, 
other than that the in-game story deals with 
Claire Redfield's journey across Europe in order 
to find her brother Chris (co-star of the first 
game). It would seem that she succeeds too, 
as both characters are playable. 

■ Why should I care? Resident Evil games 
have sold over five million copies worldwide to 
date - and grabbed praise from game players 
and designers alike. Indeed, Confounding 
Factor's Toby Gard, the creator of Lara Croft, 
told Arcade last month that, "Resident Evil 2 
was my favourite game of the year. I've never 
been that scared playing a game before." This 
new version on Dreamcast (the Biohazard 
name will certainly be dropped for the game's 
UK release) has been labelled by Capcom as 
"the logical progression from Resident Evil 2' - 
so it should offer all the great gameplay we've 
come to expect, and more besides. 

■ Watch out for: Awesome graphics. Res 
Evil is exciting enough on PlayStation, but 
Sega's new 128-bit machine promises visuals 
four or five- times more complex than Sony's. 


iU |Arcaote| January 1 1999 


■ Developer: Rare 

■ Publisher: Nintendo 

■ Release date: December 

The sequel to cute-but- 
tricky Mario-wannabe, 

m What is it? A 3D free- 
roaming platformer, that 
stars a bear and a bird who 
spend their days jumping, 
running, collecting coins and 
generally acting like some 
kind of dungareed plumber. 
At least, that's what we 
think it's like. Rare's official 
line is, of course, the utterly 
predictable, "No comment." 

■ Why should I care? 
Despite Banjo-Kazooie 
drawing criticism from 
people who thought it 
aped Mario 64 perhaps 
a little too closely, Rare's 
original was inventive and 
playable enough to be 
compared favourably with 
Mario's exploits - some 
thought it even surpassed 
them, graphically at least. 
The sequel will (probably) 
be more of the same, 
featuring enough of that 
special Twycross magic to 
make it a gem. 

■ Watch out for: The 
cartridge "opening up" 
inaccessible sections of the 
first game. No-one knows 
how this works... 

Rayman 2 

■ Developer: Ubisoft 

■ Publisher: Ubisoft 

■ Release date: Spring 

The limbless hero is back 
f or 3D platf orming fun. 

■ What is it? Another 3D 
platformer, starring the cute 
jumpy hero who was last 
spotted performing in 2D 
on the PlayStation many 
moons ago. There's nothing 
innovative in terms of plot 
going on here - Rayman 
needs to leap between 
platforms, collect butterflies, 
defeat bosses and save his 
kidnapped friends. 

■ Why should I care? 
Visually, it's stunning, with 
smooth textures and proper 
(if somewhat kooky) 3D 

Tetris 64 

■ Developer: Seta 

■ Publisher: Nintendo 

■ Release date: TBA 

Another Tetris game? 
Tfou know you want to_ 

■ What is it? Surely Tetris 
needs no introduction? You 
have some blocks, they are 
different shapes, you must 
build them into a solid wall 
so that complete lines of 
blocks magically disappear. 
Otherwise you lose. 

Meanwhile, the release 
of Magical Tetris Featuring 
Mickey for N64 has recently 
been announced too, and it 
includes a "revolutionary" 
new concept that consists 
of 7efr/s mixed with some 
piccies of Disney characters. 

■ Why should I care? 
Tetris 64 comes with a Bio- 


environments. Rayman has a , _ . ... .. 

. , .,„ ' „ Sensor Pak which you clip 

host of different moves, a I 

providing scope for plenty 
of variation in the puzzles, 
with Ubisoft emphasising 
speed and reaction time - 
and so trying to steer clear 
of churning out just another 
Mario clone. Refreshing. 
■ Watch out for: The 
range of vehicles - from 
boats to rockets - that 
Rayman can travel in. 



■ Developer: Konami 
■ Publisher: Konami 
■ Release date: 

The beautiful game, beautifully 
presented, beautiful to play. 

■ What is it? The greatest football 
series ever returns for a third go. If 
you've played the astonishing ISS Pro 
'98, you'll understand how the smooth 
player control, the incisive tactics and 
the glorious range of goal-scoring 
\ opportunities make us eager as 
anything to see just how Konami 
thinks it can improve on a 
masterwork. Obviously, the 
company's not telling us 
a thing, but there's a 

to your ear. It detects your 
pulse rate and alters the 
speed and pattern of the 
game accordingly. It will 
look silly and the game will 
only waste more of your 
valuable time in the way all 
the other Tetris incarnations 
have done. You will buy it 
and waste your life on it, 
■ Watch out for: Some 
blocks. Of different shapes. 
Playing across your eyelids 
as you fall asleep. 


possibility the game 
will make use of 
capabilities for 
the consoles. An option to save 
the best replays would be smart, as 
would the addition of rather more 
individual character traits - things 
which make playing with the likes of 
Roberto Carlos or Ravenelli such a 
laugh. Purists might suggest than 
punchier crosses and greater 
opportunity to curve the ball 
should be added, too. 

■ Why should I care? Since 
the first copies of ISS Pro '98 
arrived in the Arcade office, 
nothing else has distracted 
us from our work more 
often. Dammit, we've even 
found ourselves watching 
entire matches as if they 
were the real thing... 

■ Watch out for: That 
really great through-pass 
getting even better. 


Gran Turismo 2 

Developer: SCEJ 
Publisher: Sony 
Release date: March (TBC) 

The eagerly-awaited follow-up 
to what is probably the world's 
most celebrated driving game. 

■ What is it? The original Gran 
Turismo roared on to the PlayStation 
highway from out of nowhere, and 
with barely a glance in its rear view 
mirror accelerated away, leaving the 
competition chewing on its dust. It 
changed all the rules, providing a killer 
one-two combination of jaw-dropping 
graphics and ultra-realistic feeling car 
mechanics - suddenly every previous 
home console racing game looked like 
a kid's toy in comparison. One Arcade 
writer knows a friend who bought a 
new motor based entirely on "road 

tests" conducted in front of his TV - it's 
just that sort of a game. And now it's 
time for the sequel. 

But unfortunately for us, Sony still 
remains tight-lipped about quite what 
this much-anticipated follow up will 
contain. Contradicting rumours abound, 
with some sources insisting that the 
next GT we see will be more of a 
version 1.5 than a true sequel, with the 
real fireworks coming when an all-new 
Gran Turismo arrives with the launch of 
PlayStation 2. Still, even the more-of- 
the-same cosmetic update this would 
mean us getting our hands on this year 
ain't to be sniffed at. 

■ Why should I care? Because 
even an updated version of the original 
GT, with more cars and a few glitches 
ironed out, is still A Good Thing. 
However new in terms of its game 
engine GT2 turns out to be, word has 

it that a number of car manufacturers 
have agreed to Sony putting their 
wares in the game, including various 
makers of 4x4s - indeed, Japanese 
sources indicate that far more of the 
new game will take place off-road. 
Gran Turismo's chief programmer has 
gone on record as saying that he can 
squeeze 25% more in the way of 
graphics power out of PlayStation, 
and we can't wait to see the results. 

■ Watch out for: The likes of Ferrari 
and Porsche joining in the fun. 

. Plumbers a-go-go. 

Super Mario 

■ Developer: Nintendo 

■ Publisher: Nintendo 

■ Release date: TBA 

The sequel to the title 
most often described as 
"the Best Videogame of 
All Time" is on its way - 
and Nintendo is just as 
f rustratingly silent 
about what the game 
may contain as ever. 

■ What is it? No one's 
seen it yet, but you can bet 
your life it's going to be 
another 3D platformer, 

spread across a series of 
luscious worlds, and 
with our U-bend 
y. friend collecting 
' ' coins, stars and the 

like. Work on 
Mario all but 
stopped recently, as ™ 
Nintendo worked on 
bringing Ocarina of 
Time to the masses, 
but it should be 
back on track by 
now. Originally 
slated for The Big 
N's doomed 64DD 
disc-drive add-on, 
SM642 will now 
move to cartridge-only, 
although expect a biiiig 
cart, along the lines of 
Zelda's 256Mb monster. 

■ Why should I care? 
There'll be more of the 
finely-tuned platforming 
silkiness that only Shigeru 
Miyamoto knows the secret 
of, but this time inviting 
more of the characters from 
the Super Mario legend to 
the party. Luigi? Oh, yes. 
He's already running about 
in 3D over at Shigsy's house, 
and rumours abound that 
he'll bring with him the first 
Super Mario simultaneous 
two-player mode. We hope 
the graphics-enhancing 
4Mb Expansion Pak will be 
put to good use, too. 

■ Watch out for: The 
appearance of a rideable 
Yoshi? Oh, go on, Shigsy... 



Time Crisis 2 

■ Developer: Namco 

■ Publisher: Sony 

■ Release date: TBC 

Wham! Blam! Thank 
you, 'Nam. 

■ What is it? The sequel 
to Namco's light-gun 
blazing, screen-shooting 
coin-op. Time Crisis 2 keeps 
the innovative duck pedal 
(which lets you hide behind 
scenery) and the tension 
racheting time limit of the 
original, but brings in two- 
player blasting. 

■ Why should I care? 
Namco brought Time Crisis 
to the PSX with so much 
style it made you forget 
you were pointing a plastic 
gun at your TV and making 
"peeoow" noises. The two- 
player action's going to be 
difficult to pull off in the 
living room (the coin-op 
uses a dual screen), but the 
promise of levels taking in a 
speedboat chase, forest, 
Italian city and train are 
more than enough to start 
trigger fingers twitching. 

■ Watch out for: Your 
partner as you cover them. 


January | 1 999 1 Arcade | 85 

i ■!;<="■'■[* v-i J 


. Virtua 

3 Fighter 3tb 

■ Developer: Sega AM2 

■ Publisher: Sega 

■ Release date: September (TBC) 

More pioneering fight action 
from a world-class outfit. 

■ What is it? Arguably the best 
fighting game in the world, that's 
what. Sega's original Virtua Fighter 
coin-op pioneered 3D gaming, and 
the series has been pushing back 
boundaries ever since. Namco's Tekken 
may grab more headlines (because of 
its PlayStation connections) but few 
would argue that it's simply following a 
trail blazed by Sega. Virtua Fighter 3tb 
offers 13 fighters - each with a unique 
style - and some of the most intricate 
3D backgrounds ever devised. The "tb" 
stands for "team battle" - a game 

mode in which two players pick not 
just one fighter, but a selection. When 
your first pick is defeated, they are 
replaced by the next in line. It may not 
be an original touch (SNK's King of the 
Fighters series has offered this feature 
for a while) but the option does add a 
little longevity to what is otherwise a 
streamlined sit-down, kick-ass, lose, 
stand-up coin-op experience. 

■ Why should I care? Virtua Fighter 
2 looked vaguely okay on Saturn, but 
Sega's doomed 32-bit console never 
really had the hardware muscle to bring 
the Virtua Fighter series home with any 
style. Dreamcast, on the other hand, is 
positively bursting open with graphical 
muscle, so what we're looking at here 
is almost certainly going to be a near- 
perfect conversion of one of the 
greatest coin-op games of them all. 

■ Watch out for: Brother versus 
sister fights (Sarah and Jacky Bryant), as 
good as you remember them from 
your own childhood. 

Almost certainly a near-perfect 
conversion of one of the greatest 
coin-op games of them all 



■ Developer Sega Sonic 
Team ■ Publisher Sega 

■ Release date September 

He's blue. He's fast. You 
might remember him. 

■ What is it? Sonic the 
Hedgehog comes out of 
retirement to star in 

Dreamcast's showcase 
game. It's the traditional 
Sonic gameplay (collect the 
rings, bounce on the bad 
guys), but this time in 3D. 
■ Why should I care? This 
game will make or break 
Dreamcast. Yuji Naka 
(Sega's top programmer) is 
on the job, and Sega even 
delayed the game's release 
in Japan, to make sure that 
everything was perfect for 
when it appears. 

■ Watch out for: Last- 
minute enhancements to 
the UK release. Sega set a 
precedent for releasing 
updated versions of games 
with Saturn, so we should 
be getting a better version 
than Japan. The original 
Virtua Fighter was launched 
in Japan to support Saturn's 
launch, and then only a few 
months down the line a 
tweaked and tuned Virtua 
Fighter Remix was released. 


Blue Stinger 

■ Developer: Climax 

■ Publisher: Sega 
Release date: Winter 

Interactive, graphically superb 
3D adventure, set on post- 
volcanic isle full of weirdos. 

■ What is it? Several early Dreamcast 
games appear to be incorporating the 
theme of a new millennium into their 
storylines, as sci-fi future meets the 
present head-on. In Blue Stinger, 
mutant biological creations rub 
up against the neon cityscape 
- and you get to 

rescue the population. Resident Evil set 
the trend for this kind of intelligent 
adventure, but Blue Stinger looks to be 
more than just a repetition of the form; 
it features four characters who have to 
interact very closely with each other, 
whichever one you choose to play. 

■ Why should I care? Just look at 
the screenshots. Then imagine how 
Dreamcast's increased capabilities could 
be about to expand the adventure 
game genre. Now start getting excited. 

■ Watch out for: The ghostly 
female form of Nefilim, who can 
apparently mutate into any of the 
other characters. 

86 | Arcade | January | 1999 





■ Developer: Konami 

■ Publisher: Konami 

■ Release date: Spring 

More Resident Evil-style 
horror, this time with 
just a smidge of RPG. 

■ What is it? A plot that 
takes in genetic engineering 
and a kidnapped American 
President, and gameplay 
that sees a young man 
engaged in (appropriately) 
a hybrid of Tomb Raider- 
style wandering and RPG- 
style fighting. All shoe- 
horned into a sci-fi setting 
that's sure to please. 

■ Why should I care? 
The traditional turn-based 
combat system has been 
given a lick of paint, with 
different attacks varying in 
strength depending on 
your stance and how much 
fighting you've engaged in 
so far. Shuns a restrictive 
fixed-camera system in 
favour of real-time 3D. 

■ Watch out for: 
The intra sequence, 
weighing in at an 
N64-straining six 
minutes long. 

I Developer: Sega 

■ Publisher: Sega 

■ Release date: Autumn 

An apocalyptic 3D 
adventure with genetic 

■ What is it? A new strain 
of the human race has 
inexplicably evolved with 
special powers instead of 
the more usual reproductive 
organs. Inevitably, a mad 
scientist starts messing with 
biology in order to take 
over the world (ha, ha, ha, 
ha!), while you play the 
pairing of Yoshua and 
Makota (switching between 
the two throughout the 
game) in an attempt to stop 
him. Expect a mixture of 
stealth, shootouts and 
intriguing (if rather far- 
fetched) storyline. 

■ Why should I care? 
Because it's another game 
with an intriguing plot, not 
to mention a whole bunch 
of sinister surprises. 

■ Watch out for: The 
bleak post-industrial 


■ Developer: Konami 

■ Publisher: Konami 

■ Release date: Spring 

Smack vampire types to 
kingdom come. 

■ What is it? The long- 
awaited 3D update of the 
Castlevania series, a family 
of games that's been 
knocking about for a good 
ten years. The familiar old 
style is still there, along with 
a variety of hideous undead 
creatures, just begging to 
be punched. 

■ Why should I care? 
There's a host of very neat 
touches, such as how your 
chosen character and the 
time of day affect which 
puzzles and baddies you'll 
encounter. The gameplay 
promises to moisten your 
pants regularly with plenty 
of zombie and vampire 
types cropping up all over 
the place, sometimes when 
least expected. The old- 
skool Castlevania games are 
shining examples of how to 
do platforming properly, 
and Konami always treats 
its ageing 2D heroes with 
the necessary respect when 
dragging them into 3D (cf.. 
Mystical Ninja). 

■ Watch out for: More 
Ray Harryhausen Jason 
and the Argonauts-style 
skeleton scrapping. 




■ Publisher: Acclaim 

■ Developer: Iguana UK 

■ Release date: May 

Voodoo-tinged spin-off starring 
a close comic-book buddy of 
existing Acclaim star Turok. 

■ What is it? Fully endorsed by the 
forces of evil, this third-person, voodoo- 
inspired action adventure is as dark as a 
goth's bedroom walls, but much, much 
scarier than a Fields of the Nephilim 
poster. Following in Turok's size tens, it's 
another game based around a Valiant 
comic book character, this one putting 
you in control of Mike Leroi, an assassin 
for hire who transforms into voodoo 
warrior "the ShadowMan" when 
crossing between the game's two 
domains, Liveside and Deadside. 

■ Why should I care? The great 
interaction between the worlds of 
living and dead, and the varying abilities 

of your alter egos in each, makes for 
strong character development as you 
follow a twisting, marrow-chilling plot 
that takes in Elvis-impersonating serial 
killers, voodoo symbolism and a mile- 
high citadel of terror called the Asylum. 
Expect the game's darker nature to 
become apparent as you progress, and 
ShadowMan's voodoo powers increase 
to awesome looking levels. Superficially, 
its behind-character view is most like 
Tomb Raider, but the emphasis on 
pyschological horror means you're 
much less likely to get a peaceful 
night's sleep after a late night session. 
■ Watch out for: Ritualistic nookie 
with Nettie the voodoo priestess. 

■ There really 
could be anything 
lurking in the 




^W '^FWeW^ ' ^SBf"" 



Silent Hill 

■ Developer: Konami 

■ Publisher: Konami 

■ Release date: Spring 

Terror has earned itself yet 
another a new name... 

■ What is it? The game most likely 
to send Jack Frost's icy fingers of fear 
running down your spine this side of 
the next Resident Evil. Silent Hill uses 
Evil's expect-the-worst camera angles 
and shock-horror moments, making 
your search for your daughter through 
fog and darkness-cloaked levels by 
torch light with only flayed, skinned 
infant enemies for company. Superb 
cut-scenes unfold the plot as you move 


between the real world and a dream- 
like other state, with lashings of gore 
and psychological terror taking it in 
turns to make for a truly chilling and 
absorbing experience. 

■ Why should I care? Because this 
could - quite simply - prove to be the 
scariest game ever. The dingy locations 
are made from polygons rather than 
Res Evil's pre-rendered backdrops, 
making for a faster paced fear-ride 
with a disturbing feel that's all its own. 
As with any game that's looking to 
scare the bejesus out of you, these 
sort of comparisons with Res Evil are 
inevitable, but if this is a clone it's a 
scary genetic mistake staggering 
towards you without any skin on, not 
some shameless, watered down copy. 

■ Watch out for: Truly terrifying 
things that lurk in the fog... 

ik«ii:b»] J 

House of 
the Dead 2 

■ Developer: Sega AM1 

■ Publisher: Sega 

■ Release date: TBC 

Ever fancied punching 
your fist through a 
damp lump of rotting 
zombie brain tissue? 

■ What is it? Triumphant 
return of Sega's cool claret- 
spilling, zombie slaughtering 
lightgun shooter. The same 
weapon, will-spray-lead-at- 
the-undead-hordes theme 
is strong in this Dreamcast- 
bound sequel and, not 
surprisingly for one of the 
first games to showcase 
Sega's new Naomi arcade 
hardware, it's looking flesh- 
dissolving lovely. There's 
also a spin off game that 
crosses Sega's really rather 
superb roaming beat-'em- 

up SpikeOut with a Res Evil- 
tike undead cast of 
thousands called Blood 
Bullet: House of the 
Dead Side Story. 
Rather than a 
straight forward 
gun game, it'll 
involve laying into 
zombies with a 
mixture of fists, 
feet and pick- 
upable weapons. 
■ Why should I 
care? The original 
was like Resident 

Evil played down the barrel 
of the gun, and this new 
version is likely to have 
you removing the "un" 
from the undead with 
persistence. The great 
zombie beat-'em-up 
concept of Blood Bullet 
ti appeals too. 
■ Watch out for: 
Some of the most 
zombies to ever drag 
themselves moaning 
from an earthy grave. 


January | 1 999 1 Arcade 1 87 

AfK Gex III: Deep 
yujj Cover Gecko 

^^^ ■ Developer: Crystal 

■ Publisher: EIDOS Interactive 

■ Release date: Summer 

Crystal's lounge lizard scales 
new special agent heights. 

■ What is it? Armed with a surreal 
voice-over by ageing lothario Leslie 
Philips, last year's Gex 3D boasted epic 
camera angles, buckets of depth and a 
wry sense of parody as it embraced all 
movie cliches known to man or lizard. 
This time out, Gex is poised to take on/ 
the piss out of the spy-movie genre. 
Early previews show more of the same; 
Gex crawling around a set littered with 

puns - a case of "if it ain't broke, don't 
fix it", presumably. Marliece Andrada 
(Bay watch's Skylar Bergman and also 
Playboy's Miss March 1998) will donate 
her sun-kissed tones to the scaly yet 
smooth voicebox of Gex's freshly 
appointed partner, Special Agent Xtra. 
The mind boggles. And boggles again 

■ Why should I care? Because last 
year's Gex outing was the business. 

■ Watch out for: More Bond and 
Mission: Impossible gags than you can 
shake a scaly salamander at. 

Donkey Kong 

■*ll WOrld [Working Title] 

Developer: Rare 
Publisher: Nintendo 

■ Release date: December 

Long-awaited follow-up to 
the extremely popular Super 
Nintendo DK series. 

■ What is it? You decide. Rare isn't 
telling anyone even the slightest detail 
about this one. It'll star Donkey Kong. 
It's a 3D platformer. But please don't 
quote us on that 

■ Why should I care? Well, basically, 
because it's from Rare, a company with 
one simple rule: to make sure that the 
games it releases are never, ever worth 
less than five red stars. The SNES and 
NES originals pioneered 32-bit-quality 
rendered graphics on their 8 and 16-bit 
platforms, and with Rare having already 
shown off its N64 prowess in Banjo- 
Kazooie and Diddy Kong 
Racing, we see no reason 
to expect anything less 
than a world beater. 

■ Watch out for: Gasps 
of excitement when 
Rare's traditional veil 
of secrecy is finally ^J » 
lifted from the game. ^^. " 



Tail Concerto 

■ Developer: Bandai 

■ Publisher: Bandai 

■ Release date: Summer 

Cute but cool adventure, which we 
hope to see over from Japan. 

■ What is it? You play Waffle the police 
dog, and it's your task to round up a large 
number of miscreant cats at large on the 
floating islands of Preree. No really, bear with 
us on this one. Tail Concerto may be cut with 
intensely cute animated scenes (just a little too 
Japanese for our tastes), but the game itself is 
great fun, with a mature sense of humour to 
be found 'neath the childish sheen. Waffle 
himself is trussed up in a huge robotic costume 
which enables you to scoop up the mincing 
kitties and hurl them into the nearest wall. You 
can also lob barrels and crates at them, with 
amusing effect. As the game progresses, more 
ingenious ways of wiping out the feline 
population will have to be uncovered. 

Why should I care? This is actually set to 
become one of the best action-adventures 
around, with an air of craziness about it 
that will outlive the appeal of many a 
gorefest If you're a Spyro devotee, Tail 
Concerto will be your bag of Winalot. 

■ Watch out for: The menacing high- 
pitched chuckle of your feline foes - just 
before a crate lands on their furry heads. 

f Super Mario 
■ Developer: HAL 
■ Publisher: Nintendo 

■ Release date: TBA 

Traditional role-playing game 
featuring the dungareed 
platform pipe-meister. 

■ What is it? The excellent SNES 
original was never seen in the 

UK, but this sequel looks as 
though it may be oh its way. 
Trek across picturesque 3D 
landscapes, speak to 
characters who've been 
borrowed from all the old 
Mario and Yoshi titles, collect 
objects, solve puzzles and al 
that RPG stuff. Interestingly, 
the characters exist as 
2D "cut-outs", 
which flip over 

when they turn around. A very unusual 
effect indeed. 

■ Why should I care? Some 
quarters have voiced concerns about 
the simplistic look of the game, and it's 
actually being touted as a release for 
"amateur gamesplayers and children" 
by Shigeru Miyamoto, the game's 
producer. But this is far from enough to 
put us off. Coming from our friends at 
Nintendo and HAL, we reckon this 
Mario will turn out to be another fine 
example to the rest of gaming. And as 
the first Mario RPG to arrive in Britain, it 

should definitely be worth a look. 
\ ■ Watch out for: That dog 
\ from the Yoshi games, putting 
in yet another little cameo 


88 1 Arcade | January | 1999 



■ Developer: Surreal 

■ Publisher: Psygnosis 

■ Release date: January 

Puff the Magic Dragon- 
got utterly toasted by 
Drakan's fire-breathing 

■ What is it? Imagine 
Tomb Raider, but a version 
where Lara gets to ride on a 
dragon. A big, scary dragon, 
with fire-breathing abilities 
backed up by a selection of 
dangerous spells. 

■ Why should I care? It's 
a very tasty melding of two 
different 3D styles. Not only 
do you get to fly around on 

the dragon's back, grilling 
anything foolish enough to 
invade your airspace, but 
you also get to park the 
little chap and head off for 
a bit of exploration on foot. 
So it's more Tomb Raider- 
meets-Spyro, except the 
dragon's no cutesy infant- 
friendly beast. He'd happily 
munch Spyro for a pre- 
breakfast snack. 
■ Watch out for: The 
Dreamcast edition, naturally, 
but is it going to carry the 
PC version's multi-player 
abilities? We can only pray 
that the modem remains in 
the European Dreamcast. 


■ Developer: Psygnosis 

■ Publisher: Psygnosis 

■ Release date: April 

Nintendo-style cute can 
be very hard to do if 
your name ain't Shigeru 

■ What is it? A mixture of 
platform and puzzling with 
the titular purple-clad fox as 
its hero. Your task, by all 
accounts, is to save the Fruit 
Kingdom from the evil 
wizard Bad Custard. 

■ Why should I care? 
Maybe you shouldn't - this 
is a kid's game, albeit one 
designed with some adult 
enjoyment also in mind. 
Certainly, from what we've 
seen, character dialogue 
written in a knowingly 
exaggerated faux medieval 
style could prove fun. 

■ Watch out for: Every 
single thing carrying a food- 
related, punning name. 


Beavis & 
Butthead Do 

■ Developer: Illusions 

■ Publisher: GT Interactive 

■ Release date: February 

Huh-huh. Huh-huh-huh. 
You said 3D polygon 
mapping. Huh-huh-huh. 

■ What is it? Adventure, 
starring America's dumbest 
teenagers. Why they've 
chosen 1999 to release it - 
as no new episodes have 
been made for at least a 
year and the film on which 
the game is loosely based 
passed by ages ago - is 
anyone's guess. But at least 
it should remind South Park 
fans of who came up with 
the idea of foul-mouthed, 
badly-drawn, hilarious 
cartoon comedy first. 

■ Why should I care? 
We're not too sure how the 
3D game will work, but it 
seems that apparently our 
hapless heroes are stranded 
in Hollywood and must first 
complete a number of odd 
tasks in order to earn cash 
for the flight home. The 
ability to control each of 
the characters' speech looks 
like a winner, buttmunch. 

■ Watch out for: Walking 
cacti and Beavis becoming 
the great Cornholio. 


Jim 3D 

■ Developer: VIS 

■ Publisher: Interplay 

■ Release date: Spring 

He's pink, wiggly and 
the least glamourous 
game hero of all. 

■ What is it? The 3D 

incarnation of the platform 
game that features a worm 
dressed in a space suit. And 
it gets weirder. 

■ Why should I care? For 
the first time, Jim has total 
freedom of movement 
within a game, thus vastly 
reducing the linear feel that 
featured in the first two 
games. New characters such 
as the Bovine Special Elite 
(mad gun-toting cows). 
Rabid (a manic scooter- 
riding rabbit) and the Disco 
Zombies, rub shoulder with 
old favourites like Psycrow, 
Evil the Cat and Professor 
Monkey-For-A-Head. The 
game is bizarrely set inside 
Jim's brain, and divided into 
four worlds and 30 levels, 
each devoted to an area of 
Jim's personality. 

■ Look out for: High- 
octane pocket rocket rides 
and pig-slide subgames. 

Ninja 2 

Developer: Konami 

■ Publisher: Konami 

■ Release date: Summer 

The mad, blue-haired 
boy and his fat friend 
return to our screens. 

■ What is it? After the 
RPG styling of the 1998 
original, 1999's version sees 
a return to the rather more 
'80s platforming roots of 
Ganbare Goemon. In other 
words, take traditional 
running and jumping, and 
mix it up with some mad 
subgames and a two-player 
co-operative mode. 

■ Why should I care? As 
the UK was denied the 
more outlandish early 
instalments in the Mystical 
Ninja series, this will be a 
great chance to catch up. 
Without having to waste 
lumps of processor power 
or memory on polygons, 
Konami will be free to slip in 
even more of the brilliantly 
bizarre touches that 
defined Mystical Ninja 2's 
prequels, and make the 
game as fast and pretty as 
the company desires. 

■ Watch out for: The 
porky, nappy-wearing 
Ebisumara. Based on a 
Japanese deity, you know. 


Jet Force Gemini 

■ Developer: Rare 

■ Publisher: Nintendo 

■ Release date: March 

A boy, a girl and a dog go crazy. 
With big weapons. 

■ What is it? As previewed in the 
last issue of Arcade, Jet Force Gemini 
takes the big cartoony fun and loud 
colours of Banjo-Kazooie and then 
goes wild down at Bazookas-R-Us. 
Basically, Juno and Vela (and Lupus the 
dog) have travelled to a hostile galaxy 
in order to bring down Mizar, the 
megalomaniac tyrant. Plot, however, is 
largely irrelevant, as all you need to 

know is that to complete each level, 
you'll have to blast everything straight 
into the next universe. 

You can play each character, and 
you'll have to switch between the three 
in order to progress. A dog might not 
seem like much use in a shootout, but 
we're informed Lupus boasts a range 
of other impressive talents. 

■ Why should I care? Jet Force 
Gemini is developed by Rare, and if 
you're still not sure quite what that 
signifies, you need to reread last issue's 
"State of Play" feature. Despite the 
looks, this ain't a game aimed at kids 
only - as its mischievous sense of 
humour should indicate. 

■ Watch out for: The promise of a 
multi-player deathmatch mode a la 
GoldenEye 007. 


f Galleon 
■ Developer: Confounding 
Publisher: Interplay 
Release date: Christmas 

While the pretenders mess 
about with Lara-alikes, madam 
la Croft's creators move on... 

■ What is it? A buckle swashing, 
cutlass swinging third-person adventure 
with sumptuous graphics. Much more 
than that, though, it's the new game 
from Lara's real life My Two Dads - 
Toby Gard and Paul Douglas, the lead 
artist and programmer on the original 
Tomb Raider. Bravely, the men who are 
responsible for creating the sweaty 
palmed Croft phenomenon have 
shifted their attentions to a male 
protagonist. Galleon's in-game camera 
focuses firmly on the arse of male 
Sinbad-wannabe Rhama, a buccaneer 
and explorer with an impressive range 
of moves. Your job is to send him 
running, leaping, swinging and climbing 
on a quest that takes in Tomb Raider- 
style puzzles and you-could-have- 
somebody's-eye-out swordplay. 

■ Why should I care? Because it's 

from the people who created Lara, 
gaming's biggest human star. If anyone 
can make you care about a bunch of 
polygons negotiating through perilous, 
conundrum-filled landscapes, it's these 
two. Rhama's going to endear himself 
with incredibly detailed animation that 
includes a range of facial expressions - 
could he do for female gamers what 
Lara's managed for the fellas? In the 
meantime a more complete supporting 
cast than Lara has ever boasted will 
conduct itself in fluid, lifelike fashion. 
The developers are promising a more 
sophisticated user interface than Lara 
too, with intuitive controls making 
stumbling off sheer cliff faces a good 
deal less likely. Combat also looks like 
being far in advance of Tomb Raider's 
uninvolving auto-aiming, with a Zelda 
64-style lock-on feature, enabling you 
to circle enemies and make attacks 
without the camera having a fit. And 
although it's still at a very early stage, 
screenshots of Galleon already exude a 
mysterious atmosphere that promises 
to give this whole piracy thing a darkly 
serious feel, several nautical miles from 
Monkey Island's messing about. 
■ Watch out for: The "gorgeous" 
Rhama - and even more cutlass- 
waving skeleton foes straight out of 
Jason and the Argonauts. 

Twelve Tales: 
Conker 64 

■ Developer: Rare 

■ Publisher: Rare 

■ Release date: Autumn 

Rodent adventures, 
courtesy of a chipmunk 
and a squirrel. 

■ What is it? One of 

those three-dimensional 
platformers that are all the 
rage. The stars this time are 

Conker (a rather young 
male squirrel) and Berri (a 
similarly young female 
chipmunk), both of whom 
need to collect some house- 
warming gifts and rescue 
their friends. Bless. 
■ Why should I care? 
There's an innovative mood 
system, where the little 
animals sense their current 
situation and adapt their 
facial features accordingly. It 
has a four-player squirrel- 
combat mode. It's as vibrant 
and colourful as an episode 


of Teletubbies. And, yes, it's 
from Rare, a company that's 
capable of churning out 
more first-rate games in a 
year than most developers 
manage in a lifetime. 
■ Watch out for: Puke- 
inducing rodenty grins. 


January | 1 999 1 Arcade 1 89 

J J £ 



Max Payne 

■ Developer: Remedy 

■ Publisher: Take 2 

Release date: September 

One day a real rain will come... 

■ What is it? A gorgeous-looking 3D 
third-person adventure shooter, which 
enhances the growing links between 
film and videogame media by providing 
a strong noirish plot. Then there's Max 
himself, a smooth-dressing, tough- 
talking, morally ambiguous undercover 
cop with a nice line in illegal weaponry. 
His habitat is New York's underworld 
during the worst winter in a century, 
and with a storyline is full of corruption 
and betrayal, almost everyone is a 
potential enemy. Which makes for a 

great deal of shooting - a satisfying 
experience as the expulsion of smoke 
and flame from Max's most favoured 
weaponry looks fantastic US ratings 
chiefs have already been alerted to 
Max Payne's uncompromising depiction 
of violence and death - a sure-fire sign 
of a enjoyably nasty game. 

■ Why should I care? Whereas a 
great many games exist in a world of 
medieval fantasy or futuristic fluff, Max 
Payne tries its hand at something much 
harder to pull off - a realistic real-world 
environment. It boasts a perfect mix of 
brain and trigger-finger-orientated 
action, all of the scenery is beautifully 
realised and Max himself is set to 
become one of the videogame faces 
of 1999. We even detect a subtle strain 
of black humour underlying the whole 
thing. Roll on September. 

■ Watch out for: 80-or-so comic 
book screens that flesh out the story. 



■ Developer: Presto Studios 

■ Publisher: Activision 

■ Release date: Spring 

An adventurous journey to the 
centre of the earth... 

■ What is it? A tomb fia/c/er-style 
third-person perspective explore-and- 
fight romp set (you got it) in the bowels 
of the Earth. Our hero is one Jack Wells, 
rugged adventurer of 1906 vintage, on 
a mission to explore a lost underground 
civilisation recently revealed by an Arctic 
archeological dig. The game promises 
the usual mix of platform leaping, 
intense combat and environmentally- 
based puzzle solving, but it's Jack 
himself - and his grappling hook 
weapons which he uses with Indy-whip 
deftness, that promises to be the star. 

■ Why should I care? Beneath 
features 12 levels spread over three 
worlds, each one set progressively 
deeper beneath the Earth's surface - 
and the further down you go, the more 
technologically advanced the lost 
civilisation becomes. An early level 
might therefore feature Stone Age 
technology, while later levels would 
progress to more elaborate mechanical 
areas, ending up at the mysterious 
Insectoid regions. 

■ Watch out for: Earthquakes, rock 
slides, elevators, mine carts and 
tunnelling machines. 


Urban Chaos 

■ Developer: Mucky Foot 

■ Publisher: EIDOS Interactive 

■ Release date: Summer 

EIDOS unleashes yet 
another potential Lara-killer. 

■ What is it? The debut game 
from an outfit made of largely 
ex-Bullfrog developers, Urban 
Chaos is a third-person isometric 
action adventure that stars 
(shock!) a hard-as-nails female 
adventurer. The big difference: 
this time she's black. 

■ Why should I care? Does 
the name Lara mean anything to 
you? Urban Chaos has aimed 
itself firmly at the Tomb Raider 
audience here, and Mucky Foot 
might just be the team to pull if 
off (after all, these guys have 
everything from Magic Carpet 
to Theme Park amongst their 
extensive list of credits). Set in an 

urban cityscape, circa now, 
Urban Chaos is a mission-based 
affair starring two characters on 
a mission to prevent predictions 
made by famed prognosticator 
Nostradamus from coming true. 
Objectives range from hostage 
rescue to all-out carnage - the 
game's proprietary 3D engine 
already features some incredible 
environmental effects, from rain 
to meticulously animated 
windswept leaves, while the 
camera angle you use to view it 
all can be changed on the fly 
(including zooming in and out), 
to enable you to get the very 
best vantage point. However, 
the most important factor in 
terms of its mass-market appeal 
may well be the presence of its 
stacked female lead. We'll see. 
■ Watch out for: The 
opportunity to hop in to and 
use any of the myriad vehicles 
parked throughout the cities. 

Indiana Jones 
and the 

■ Developer: LucasArts 

■ Publisher: LucasArts 

■ Release date: Spring 

Indy's back, and this time 
he's in glorious 3D. 

■ What is it? An action game 
in the style of Tomb Raider, 
viewed from the third person 
with variable camera angles. 

■ Why Should I Care? Indy's 
last game appearance was in the 

superb Fate of Atlantis - a 
release so well scripted it is 
rumoured to form the basis 
of the next film. The plot of 
Infernal Machine centres oh 
locating scattered pieces of the 
Aetherium - an interdimensional 
portal located in the ancient 
Tower of Babel. Your enemies 
are not the usual Nazis, but 
Russians, determined to use the 
Aetherium to swing the balance 
of power in their favour. You can 
be sure that the story line will 
be just as involving as that of a 
Hollywood blockbuster. 
■ Watch out for: A white- 
water rapids ride, an off-road 
jeep chase and a twisty-turny 
mine cart rollercoaster. 



■ Developer: Warp 

■ Publisher: Sega (TBC) 

■ Release date: September (TBC) 

And introducing Dreamcast's 
answer to Lara Croft... 

■ What is it? Back in 1997 D2 was 
announced as a potential launch game 
for Matsushita's ill-fated M2 console. 
When the games machine failed to 
materialise it seemed that D2 was lost 
with it. But no. Warp was merely 
waiting for a system to come along 
that would be powerful enough to 
run the game. Enter Dreamcast... 

■ Why should I care? Though this 
is nominally the sequel to million- 
selling adventure game D, in terms 

of looks it has a lot more in common 
with Tomb Raider. It stars a beautiful 
icey blonde called Laura - clad in a 
non-nonsense business suit that's 
right out of Ally McBeal, but packing 
everything from shot-guns to flame 
throwers as she blasts her way past 
assorted mutated monsters in her 3D 
action-RPG world. The game kicks off 
with a plane crash in the snowy 
Canadian wilds - Laura survives, to 
wake in a deserted hut, where she 
immediately comes under attack from 
a variety of mutants. What's going 
on? It's her (and your) job to find out. 

Assorted weapons and vehicles 
(including a great snowmobile) are 
available to you, while neat touches 
include the realistic fact that as she 
gets colder, Laura becomes more 
vulnerable to attack (thus making it 
perhaps better to stay close to the hut 
than explore the distant mountains, 
for instance). If D2 makes as effective 
use of the Dreamcast technology as 
the bits we've seen suggest, we could 
be seeing a new high-water mark for 
3D adventures - and the birth of a 
genuine new videogaming superstar. 

■ Watch out for: Great music. The 
charismatic Kenji Eno, 

creative force behind 
D2, is renowned for it. 


Laura: Lara grows up, 
and gets a job. 

90 | Arcade | January | 1999 




■ Developer: Shiny 

■ Publisher: Interplay 
Release date: Spring 

The most effective baby game 
since Jack the Nipper... 

■ What is it? It's one of the biggest 
challenges in videogames - come up 
with brand new (yet satisfying and at 
least halfway realistic) ways of letting 
you kill game baddies. Shooting them 
is, of course, the traditional option. 
Since Mario, jumping on their heads has 
also become socially acceptable. But 
things are a little more complicated in 
Messiah. In it you play a cherub (yes, a 
bewinged baby, though with the less- 
than angelic name of "Bob"), and your 
preferred method of disposing of your 
enemies is possession - taking over a 
baddie's body and using it as your own. 
Much of the game is therefore mainly 
spent in a Doctor Who-Wke state of 
confusion; your constantly changing 

forms opening up a whole range of 
interesting gameplay possibilities. Need 
to get past a guard? Then take over his 
body, and make him jump off a ledge 
to break his legs. Or you could simply 
make him shoot his friends, or himself. 
It's this intriguing gameplay aspect that 
promises to make Messiah a 3D run- 
around with a difference. 

■ Why should I care? On the 
technology side, Shiny is rather chuffed 
with its new real-time deformation and 
tessellation technology, implemented 
for the first time in Messiah. In-game 
characters are created over a basic 
bone structure, with muscles holding 
them together and skin stretched over 
the top - their clothes will even crease 
and pull tight as the characters move. 
Messiah could - if everything goes 
right - set a new PlayStation standard 
in terms of both looks and gameplay. 
Oddly, this isn't the only possession- 
orientated game of '99 - it seems to 
be becoming something of a theme. 

■ Look out for: A number of the 
characters in Messiah are, to put it 
bluntly, whores. The extra possession 
possibilities there are intriguing... 

A new PlayStation standard in 
terms of both looks and gameplay 


Legacy of 
Kain: Soul 

■ Developer: Crystal 

■ Publisher: Eidos 

■ Release date: March 

Purple-clad vampire 
returns to Nosgoth to 
reap vengeance. Pale 
virgins beware. 

■ What is it? A vast, 
intricate and very, very dark 
follow-up to the Stood 
Omen RPG game from a 
few years back. As before, 
you don't play big bad guy 
Kain but one of his fallen 
lieutenants, returning to his 
homeland of Nosgoth and 
hellbent on some kind of 
revenge. In the spirit of the 
times. Soul Reaver is now a 
free-roaming 3D adventure. 

■ Why should I care? 
Your man Raziel is a pretty 

interesting vampire - he's 
an expert in hand-to-hand 
combat, he can easily glide 
between platforms and he 
can suck the souls from 
other vampires, assuming 
their special powers in the 
process. Just don't take him 

outside before dusk. 
■ Watch out for: The 

ability to switch between 
the real world and a bizarre 
spectral realm, essential if 
you want to be able to 
complete some of the 
game's complex puzzles. 


■ Developer: Omega Force 

■ Publisher: Koei 

■ Release date: Spring 

Koei "borrows" ideas 
from a PSX stealth- 
oriented hit-to-be. 

■ What is it? A shameless 
Nintendo-bound rip-off of 
Metal Gear Solid. Viewed 
from a similar third-person 
perspective to Konami's 
wonder, the daftly named 






■ Developer: 

■ Publisher: Sony 

■ Release date: February 

The world's first 100% 

■ What is it? Metal Gear 
implements the concept 
that, in some world-saving 
circumstances, killing every bad 
guy is not necessarily the route 
to success. If you employ 
stealth: hiding behind crates, 
sneaking behind backs, picking 
off the odd bad guy with a 
silencer attached to your pistol 
and then climbing inside a 
cardboard box, running around 
and stopping anytime anyone 
looked at you, you'd have far 
more success. Such is the 
nature of Metal Gear Solid. 


■ Developer: 989 Studios 

■ Publisher: Sony 

■ Release date: TBC 

Some sneak-'em-ups are 
heavy on the sneaking, 
but this one brings 
gunplay to the fore. 

■ What is it? Another 

example of Metal Gear's sly 
yet all-pervading influence 
on much that's due for 
release in '99, Syphon Filter 
looks very much like an 
American take on Konami's 
masterpiece. You creep 

hero - Jean-Luc Cougar, if 
you must know - is asked 
to creep through four 
different areas in an effort 
to prevent a group of 
crazies from carrying out 
their self-defeating threat 
to explode the Earth. 
■ Why should I care? 
Because you can't get MGS 
on N64, so this may well be 
the next best thing - 
especially as Omega Force 
is programming enemies 
with behaviour patterns 
that vary from "run-away" 
to the amusingly fear-free 

"kamikaze". Somewhat 
surprisingly, a two-player 
deathmatch is included, 
though here emphasis is 
firmly placed on the game's 
sneaking about aspects. 
■ Watch out for: Plenty 
of bits that are very similar 
to Metal Gear Solid. 




F , ft 




■ ■■■■■ 






■ Why should I care? 

There's been a strange aura 
surrounding Metal Gear Solid. 
It's been out in Japan and 
America for ages. Here in the 
UK, however, we are being 
made to wait until February for 
an official release. We reviewed 
the Japanese version last issue 
(where we got hooked on the 
gameplay, but confused by the 
plot) but have since been 
playing the American model 
and have, for one of the first 

around as black-suited 
counter terrorist agent 
Gabe Logan, viewed from 
a third person perspective. 
But where this differs from 
MGS is that, when the urge 
takes you, there's an option 
to let rip with your entire 
arsenal without fear of the 
blood-freezing alarms - 
and subsequent inevitable 
Game Over message - you 
get in Metal Gear. 

■ Why should I care? 
Because it's only got a side 
order of stealth, this is 
going to appeal to those 
heretics who prefer their 
James Bond-influenced 
action to contain rather 
more of the manly, head- 

times ever in a game, been 
properly scared. The storyline 
is so convincing that the whole 
scenario soon becomes utterly 
compelling - completing the 
missions is no longer a matter 
of personal pride but one of 
national security and the game 
is so chock-full of good bits 
that you'll love it more every 
second you spend with it. 
■ Look out for: The cool 
cardboard box and the security 
cameras on Level Two. 

on, shoot-first-and-ask- 
questions-later feel. So 
expect more gunplay, and 
less tiptoeing. That it also 
looks great, with a variety 
of weapons ranging from 
sniper rifles to grenades and 
some impressively large 
locations to explore, is but 
the icing on the cake. 
■ Watch out for: People 
to shoot with your infrared 
sniper rifle. 


January | 1 999 | Arcade 1 91 


Star Wars: 
X-wing Alliance 

■ Developer: LucasArts 

■ Publisher: Activision 

■ Release date: Summer 

LucasArts pilfers what we'd all 
assumed to be the next X-COM 
subtitle for itself. (Beats The 
Phantom Menace, anyway.) 

■ What is it? A Star Wars-flavoured 
space combat sim - and the latest in 
the X-wing series. 

■ Why should I care? Plenty of 


Star Trek: 



■ Developer: Spectrum 

■ Publisher: Interplay 

■ Release date: Spring 

The first Star Trek game 
where you get to play 
the bad guys. 

■ What is it? Very nearly 
categorised under "Ugliest 
Enemies", until someone 
pointed out that because 
you play the Klingons, the 
enemies are actually the 
Federation crew. You're 
under the command of 
General Chang, the greatest 
living warrior in the Klingon 
Empire, with 30 large-scale 
warships at your disposal, 

reasons, not least because of 
LucasArts' phenomenal pedigree. 
Almost every Star Wars game to date 
has been top-notch (in part, at least), 
and although last year's X-wing Vs TIE 
Fighter offered little in the way of an 
absorbing single-player experience, 
Alliance looks set to rectify that. 
Perhaps most excitingly for fans of the 
series, this is the game that will finally 
give you the chance to pilot Han Solo's 
Millennium Falcon, as well as an entire 
alphabet of A, B, X and Y-wings. 
■ Watch out for: The opportunity 
to destroy the Death Star using the 
Millennium Falcon - straight out of 
Return of the Jedi. 

and loads of asteroid fields, 
black holes, ion storms and 
nebulae to navigate. Typical 
battles consist of large-scale 
engagements, including 
entire fleets of capital-sized 
ships from six distinct races 
familiar to Trek fans. A 
mission builder is included in 
Klingon to enable you to. 

effectively, play an infinite 
number of missions. 

■ Why should I care? 
Playing as Klingons should 
give Star Trek a new twist 

■ Watch out for: The 
ludicrous warrior posturing 
that, in the real world, 
would render the Klingons 
a hopeless fighting race. 

■ Developer: Z-Axis 

■ Publisher: Activision 

■ Release date: Autumn 

Activision packs its 
satchel and returns to 
the old skool. 

■ What is it? The almost 
inevitable 3D makeover of 
the Taito classic. 

■ Why should I care? 

Released about a zillion 
years ago (1978, actually), 
Space Invaders was the first 
videogame responsible for 
emptying the pockets of 
our nation's youth. Twenty 
years on, and with an eye 
to the current retrogaming 
vogue, Activision (also 
responsible for the similarly 
"all-improved" Asteroids, 
reviewed on page 113) has 
bought the licence and 
entrusted the San Mateo- 
based developer Z-Axis 
with giving Space Invaders 
a polygonal spring clean. 
A wise choice? Given that 
Z-Axis' previous claims to 
fame include the odd Yank 
sports sim and Take 2's 
blocky footy game Three 
Lions, the future's not too 
promising. Still, judgement 
must be reserved - if Z-Axis 
can make good on its early 
promise to keep the original 
gameplay, we could be in 
for a real treat 

■ Watch out for: Fuck-off 
great robo-crabs that start 
off slow and make duh-duh 
noises. Obviously. 


R-Type Delta 

■ Developer: Irem 

■ Publisher: TBA 

■ Release date: TBA 

Another "Best Game in 
the World!' candidate 
just got better. Or did ft? 

■ What is it? Rather than let 
2D space shooter R-Type rest in 
the Videogame Hall of Fame, 
Irem has decided to launch it 
into a late-'90s universe of 3D 
polygons. Expect a similar 
. deluge of bullets and baddies 
to before, and nasty Godzilla- 
sized flying robofish. The break 
from tradition comes with the 
fact that R-Type Delta's 3Dness 
means they'll now be able 
move in and out of the screen, 
thus negating the strafing 
tactics that worked so well in 
the original. Tightened 

■ Developer: DMA Design 

■ Publisher: Gremlin 
Interactive ■ Release date: 

We've seen tank sims 
before, but never 
anything like this... 

■ What is it? A tank 
game. But a tank game 
from Lemmings and GTA 
developer DMA, which 
means it should be very 
good indeed, considering 
the Scottish code house's 
tradition of off-the-wall, 
near-the-knuckle invention. 

The set-up certainly 
sounds bizarre enough to 
be DMAs - apparently it's 
tanks with characteristics 
based around snakes, bulls, 
birds and ducks; magnetic 
mine weapons that drag 
opponents to an explosive 
doom and (huh?) giant fans, 
that let you hover over the 
battlefield. Not exactly a 
WWII sim, then? 

■ Why should I care? 
Because it's by DMA, of 
course - a team who can 
always deliver the gameplay 
goods, with a side order of 
extra crazed comedy when 
required. The game engine 
looks pretty impressive too, 
allowing for vast playing 

■ Watch out for: Jumping 
Jacks - a bizarro weapon 
that looks set to make 
Mario Karfs red shells look 
like a sensible, logical choice. 



■ Developer: Magenta 

■ Publisher: Psygnosis 

■ Release date: February 

Just your traditional 
arcade-style 3D space 
blaster - with a time- 
bomb taped to your ass. 

■ What is it? Check your 
brain at the door when you 
climb on to this marvellous, 
mindless caper. Eliminator 
doesn't really bother with 
varied missions; each level 
simply requires you to blast 
your way out of danger. 
With one complication: 
your futuristic ship's most 
unwanted passenger is a 
time-bomb, set to render 
you and yours spacedust if 
you don't defeat every 
enemy before the clock 
runs down. Various power- 
ups scattered around the 
battle arenas grant you 
extra time and improved 
weaponry. This is gloriously 
brainless stuff. 

■ Why should I care? 
Because there'll always be 
room for real pick-up-and- 
play titles, especially ones 
with graphics this classy. 

■ Watch out for: The 
really monster craft that 
you can upgrade to after 
early success. 

control and mad landscapes 
are promised - along with the 
sublime add-on Force weapon 
that so defined the original. 
■ Why should I care? 
We're all on tenterhooks 
waiting to see whether Irem 
has genuinely managed to 
improve ^ 

or made a hopeless sow's ear 
out of an undisputed silk purse. 
■ Watch out for: Virgin 
Interactive to follow last year's 
R-Types compilation and 
release this rejig in the UK. 

92 | Arcade | January 1 1 999 


Black and White 

■ Developer: Lionhead 

■ Publisher: Electronic Arts 

■ Release date: Spring 

The epic first release from 
Populous and Dungeon Keeper 
creator Peter Molyneux's new 
Lionhead Studios. 

■ What is it? Black and White 
promises to be a real cross-breed, but 
one that gains strength and health 
through its mixture of genes, including 
elements of management, strategy, 
god sims (the Molyneux speciality) and 

even virtual pets. You play a powerful 
sorcerer king in an idyllic world; your job 
is to impress your power on the natives 
and then get them to worship you. The 
more you are worshipped, the more 
powerful you become. All sorts of odd 
spells make an appearance - spells that 
vary depending on the nature of the 
tribe that's worshipping you. If you 
treat your people fairly, the game world 
and its inhabitants move from a neutral 
state towards goodness and beauty; 
treat them harshly, and all things will 
become bleak and dark. And who's 
trying to stop you? Other sorcerers - all 
of them intent on gaining more power. 
■ Why should I care? The never- 
before-seen spell casting system in 

B& W promises to be influential for 
years to come - they're cast via a new 
Gesture Recognition system, enabling 
you to call them up by using specific 
mouse moves that mimic the joypad 
combos of a beat-'em-up. You might 
cast a fire spell by sweeping the mouse 
around in a circle, for example - but 
make it a crap circle, and your spell 
won't be very powerful. By eliminating 
a sea of icons, it is hoped that this will 
make the potentially complex Black and 
White highly accessible. 
■ Watch out for: The assorted 
people and animals you can capture, 
train and grow to giant size to do your 
bidding - their looks turn noble or ugly, 
depending on how you treat them. 

fiti Shogun: 
\JJ Total War 

^^ ■ Developer: The Creative 

Assembly ■ Publisher: 
Electronic Arts ■ Release date: Spring 

Kill your enemies. But with honour. 

■ What is it? A 3D real-time strategy 
offering that puts you in charge of a 
Japanese army. 

■ Why should I care? It promises to 
be an immersive title, enabling you to 
take complete control of more than 
simply combat. As an Eastern warlord, 
you'll preside over every aspect of day- 
to-day life. The extremely powerful 3D 
engine will enable you to zoom in and 
out and rotate the landscape in a way 
reminiscent of Myth, while the combat 
strategies on offer are apparently all 
authentic to the period - 5,000 BC 

■ Watch out for: The heady thrill of 
controlling literally thousands of lightly- 
armed troops in pitched battle. 



■ Developer: Hothouse 

■ Publisher: EIDOS Interactive 

■ Release date: Spring 

Heave-ho, me hearties. Pieces of eight. 
Yes, it's a pirate strategy game. 

■ What is it? You might expect a pirate 
game to be pitched, at least in part, as a 
comedy, but no, EIDOS is apparently playing 
it straight. That means this is being valiantly 
marketed as a serious war/trading strategy 
game, set in the Caribbean between the years 
1625 and 1725. Fastidious attention to historical 
detail means that although the aim is to make 
"jthless raids on ships and ports, you'll still 
need to pay attention to economic models 

n order to make sure you're nicking valuable 
booty not junk. 

■ Why should I care? Because you 
can have fun with an essentially weighty 
strategy game not afraid to send itself up with 
rrischievous undertones. And isn't controlling 
a whole bunch of unpredictable, backstabbing 
renegades always going to have it over a dull, 
dsopSned army? 

■ Watch out for: '.tore orancal games to 
fofcwv if ths and Galeon are successful 

Command & 
Conquer 2: 
Tiberian Sun 

■ Developer: Westwood 
Studios ■ Publisher: 
Electronic Arts 

■ Release date: February 

Total Annihilation is a 
thorn in Westwood' s 
side. With Tiberian Sun, 
it could be gouged out. 

■ What is it? The "true" 
sequel to the original CSC - 
the most important, most 
ground-breaking real-time 
strategy game of all time. 

■ Why should I care? 
Westwood is generally 
credited with near single- 
handedly establishing real- 
time strategy as a major 
game genre - first with 
C&C, and then with Red 
Alert. Tiberian Sun uses the 
same overhead viewpoint 
and point-and-click control 
system, and retains the basic 
gameplay. Elements of 
resource management, base 
construction and weapon 
upgrades all return, 

therefore, although in more 
sophisticated forms. 

The terrain is now 3D, 
meaning units located on 
raised land have a distinct 
advantage over others 
below them, while bridges, 
hover units and assorted 
upgradeable structures 
make their debuts, too. 
Although not featuring a 
full 3D engine like that in 
Bungie's Myth, Westwood 
claims Tiberian Sun will 
retain the stupidly addictive 
multi-player action that 
made the C&C name, as 
well as including enough 
new features to make it 
stand out from its rivals. 
Voxels (3D pixels) are being 
used to create much more 
detailed unit models, while 
the infantry animations will 
also benefit from advanced 
motion-capture techniques. 
This type of real-time 
strategy is Westwood's 
bag, and Tiberian Sun will, 
without doubt, be one of 
the biggest games of '99. 
■ Watch out for: The fact 
that the dreaded "tank 
rush" has apparently been 
dealt with forever. 


■ Developer: DMA Design 

■ Publisher: Gremlin 

■ Release date: February 

People are coming to 
get you with tanks. Best 
build your own, then. 

■ What is it? A bizarre 3D 
strategy game in which you 
control the Part-O-Matic - a 
huge, hovering crane with 
which you build armies of 
tanks from spare parts. 
Throughout the four time 
periods of the game (stone 
age, medieval, modern and 
future) you fight motiveless 
battles with other tanks. 

■ Why should I care? 
DMA (also offering us Wild 
Metal Country in '99 - the 
team must have tanks on 
the brain) is renowned for 
its sly sense of humour, 
meaning Tanktics is unlikely 
to succumb to the po-faced 
malaise which affects so 
many other strategy games. 

■ Watch out for: Lethal 
tanks that don't really look 
anything like tanks. 



■ Developer Red Lemon 

■ Publisher EIDOS Interactive 

■ Release date Spring 

Do what the SNP dreams of - seize 
power in Scotland. 

■ What is it? A 3D strategy version of the 
famous Mel Gibson movie (though throughout 
its development Braveheart was known as 
Tartan Army, the film tie-in arriving relatively 
late in the day). EIDOS reckons this version will 
be more historically convincing than its free- 
with-the-truth cinematic brother, though - 
visually at least - the two are dead ringers. As 
things kick off, the clans of a far-from-united 
Scotland are in a state of virtual anarchy, 
fighting amongst themselves. Your task as a 
William Wallace-alike is to conquer or forge 
alliances with your rivals, before pushing the 
Sassenachs back over Hadrian's wall - not an 
easy task, especially considering the battles 
you have to run against such enemies as 
inclement weather and the ropey economic 
infrastructure of 12th century Scotland. 

■ Why should I care? Scots developer Red 
Lemon claims to have reproduced the exact 
terrain of the whole country using satellite 
terrain mapping. It's this kind of obsessive 
attention to detail that suggests that this could 
be one of the best strategy games yet made. 

■ Watch out for: Sequences from the 
movie cut near seamlessly into the game. 


January | 1 999 1 Arcade | 93 

Starcraft 64 

■ Developer: Blizzard 

■ Publisher: Nintendo 

■ Release date: TBA 

The popular futuristic real-time 
strategy title comes to N64. 

■ What is it? A point-and-click war 
simulation, viewed from above and 
based around an epic space punch-up 
between three different species. The 
original PC version featured spaceships, 
spacetanks and spacetroops. 

■ Why should I care? The multi- 
player mode is to remain intact, and 
Blizzard is planning new levels, modes 
and unit types. As Nintendo has secured 
exclusivity, this will be the definitive 
console version and, as long as the PC's 
mouse control can be transcribed, will 
be an essential for N64 gamers. 

■ Watch out for: Amusingly Action 
Man-like one-liners from your troops. 


Age Of Empires II: 
Age of Kings 

■ Developer: Ensemble Studios 

■ Publisher: Microsoft 

■ Release date: March 

Not content with dominating 
modern civilisation. Bill Gates 
wants a piece of the past too... 

■ What is it? Another sequel. This 
time, a real-time strategy epic clearly 
inspired by Civilization. 

■ Why should I care? The popular 
Age of Empires managed to blend 
trading and diplomacy with traditional 
real-time strategy empire-building. 
With this sequel, Ensemble (under the 
guidance of Civ co-designer Bruce 
Shelley), promises to expand on each 
of the predecessor's key features, 
including the combat and economy 
systems. Spanning 1,000 years, the 
same hugely addictive blend of great 
resource management, research and 
construction will doubtless be in place. 

■ Watch out for: An advanced 
timeframe and the opportunity to 
build far more sophisticated structures, 
including castles and keeps. 

94 1 Arcade | January 1 1 999 

Giants: Citizen 

■ Developer: Planet Moon 

■ Publisher: Interplay 
Release date: Summer 

The first game from Planet 
Moon, a team built from the 
Shiny Entertainment refugees 
who brought us MDK. 

M What is it? The BFG gone AWOL; 
an all-out war of magic, technology 
and brute savagery between three 
super-powered teams - the mammoth 
but solitary Kabuto, the technology- 
based, space-travelling Meccs and the 
all-female, sea-faring Reapers. You will 

be able to play as any one of these 
races, on a mission to eat, burn, drown, 
kidnap or bury your victims to gain 
control over a serene paradise planet 
hidden deep inside a beautiful nebula. 
Battles ensue on a massive fragment of 
a shattered planet, divided into 40 
separate islands, all in glorious 3D. 

■ Why should I care? A fourth, 
completely separate race of inhabitants, 
whose resources can be tapped where 
necessary (you can even eat the little 
guys for nourishment), adds a unique 
dynamic to the game. 

■ Watch out for: Really big, detailed 
graphics and some great weapons, 
including the Sea Reapers' incredible 
tornado, which lifts enemies into the 
air, before dropping them hundreds of 
feet to the ground. 


Jurassic Park: 
The Lost 

■ Developer: Sega 

■ Publisher: Sega 

■ Release date: TBA 

Coin-op conversion for 
the brilliant dino 
lightgun shooter. 

■ What is it? If you've 
been into an arcade lately, 
you will have undoubtedly 
been tempted by The Lost 
World. Sat in the blacked- 
out cab, hideous reptilian 
forms appear to leap right 
in to your face - until you 
blast them triumphantly 
into dust, that is. Yup, many 
of our hard-earned coins 
have gone thataway. And 
the Dreamcast conversion 
sounds even better, with 
bigger monsters and levels. 

■ Why should I care? It's 
hours of mindless fun. 

■ Watch out for: Slashing 
claws and gnashing teeth. 

Keeper II 

■ Developer: Bullfrog 

■ Publisher: EA 

■ Release date: June 

Sequel to the original 
iodc-'em-up, taking you 
deeper underground. 

■ What is it? A second 
incarnation for the funniest, 
most inventive strategy 
game in years. Again, you 
need to take charge of a 
motley crew of creatures, 
rotting within subterranean 
dungeon walls, and hone 
them into a multi-limbed 
fighting machine, primed to 
attack the similarly ugly 
armies of other dungeon 
keepers (either generated 
by the computer or run by 
real players over the Net). 

■ Why should I care? The 
3D is naturally crisper, the 
traps are craftier, the spells 
are cleverer, the combat is 
clearer and less haphazard 

than before - and there are 
plenty of new beasties at 
your disposal. Everyone's 
favourite Horned Reaper is 
back again, along with the 
much-loved Bile Demon - 
but a whole host of 
mutants with distinct 
characteristics are all new. 
Additional tweaks to the 
gameplay mean DKII 
works against tedious 
defensive-minded players. 
■ Watch out for: The 
Maidens of the Nest - half 
women, half spider, all 
hate. And chickens. 

Alien Vs Predator 

■ Developer: Rebellion 

■ Publisher: Fox Interactive 

■ Release date: Spring 

Two of the least attractive races in 
the universe meet head-on. 

■ What is it? The videogame of the 
comic of the films. Time for the acid- 
blooded Freudian nightmares to take 
on the dreadlocked big-game hunters in 
a scrap to the death. Assorted hapless 
humans look on helplessly. 

■ Why should I care? The hook with 
Alien Vs Predator - beyond the obvious 
thrills of such a hellish clash of the titans 
- is that your style of play will depend 
on which side you control. Playing as the 
Aliens, you see the world through fish- 
eye vision and can streak around at 
lightning speed up walls, along ceilings 
and through ventilation ducts. As a 
Predator, you're eight feet tall, have 
infrared vision and, of course, a cloaking 
device. This game offers world-class 
ugliness, whichever way you look at it. 

■ Watch out for: A superb multi- 
player deathmatch frenzy. 



■ Developer: Iguana 

■ Publisher: Acclaim 

Release date: Winter 

Everyone's favourite screechy 
reptiles will be even bigger and 
better on Dreamcast. 

■ What is it? Last issue's N64 game 
of the month will be Acclaim's first 
release for Dreamcast. You should 
already know it, but just in case, this 
is a tremendous first-person shooter 
involving the most outrageously 
destructive weapons known to man - 
and a range of hideous beasts on 
which to use them. 

■ Why should I care? The 
N64 version of Turok 2 pushes 
the machine's memory 
capabilities to the max 
(it's the first game to use 
Nintendo's 4Mb Expansion 
Pak), but Dreamcast should 
give the whole thing 
more room to breathe. 
■ Watch out for: 
The unpleasant effects 
of the cerebral bore in 
ever-more horrid 
graphic detail. 




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Edited by | Rich Pelley 



| here was a 
man outside 
Marks and 
Spencer this 
with a microphone and 
a small amplifier. He 
was going on about 
how we're all going to 
Hell, for we have all 
sinned. Hell, apparently, is a place where we will 
have to perform the most mundane and tedious 
of tasks ad infinitum. There's no escape, for we 
can all foresee our own personal Hell; we can all 
envisage a task which we wouldn't wish to do 
for a nanosecond, let alone for eternity. In Hell, 
we'll want to claw out our eyes, the man said, 
and peel the skin from our bones. Anything to 
distract us from the frustration and boredom. 

And this is why you should be grateful to Kick Ass, 
and to me. Think of the number of hours of your life 
that could be wasted trying to win Trick Attack on 
Dragon Fall in 1080°. You'd have to try again, and again, 
sinking deeper and deeper into your own personal Hell. 
To save you from this torment, I've selflessly sacrificed 
days of my life playing 1080°to bring you the solution. 


So welcome to this month's Kick Ass. Crash 3s good, 
isn't it? I'm rubbish at it, of course, but I've managed to 
see a lot of it over the shoulder of a man in a tracksuit 
in the next office as I go to make my daily cups of tea. 

"Hello," I eventually plucked up courage to say. "My 
name's Rich. How far have you got on Crash 31" 

"Finished it," he replied. 

And so a friendship was born. Arron Taylor (it turns 
out) has written a mammoth guide to Crash 3, while 
I've been trying to drum up enough energy to scour the 
earth for tips and cheats on all the other games around. 
This is a pattern I imagine to be repeated over the 
coming months - the biggest guides to the latest 
biggest games, provided by an expert on the matter, 
all backed up with pages of smaller, tighter tips, 
painstakingly drenched up by yours truly. 

I'll see you in 12 pages time, then. 




Format: PlayStation | Publisher: Sony | Developer: Naughty Dog | Price: £39.99 | Players: 1 1 

■ Smash the box. Now kill the scorpion. But don't forget to 
hold- too late! To save this (and other unpleasant life-ending 
incidents) from happening to you. Arcades tips guru is here 
with a helping hand. If you're still thinking about buying 
Crash 3, then head to our full review on page 110 to find out 
if you should or not But if you've already got a copy, stick 
with me here. I'll show you how to become a Crash master. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 1/10 

■ The first level is there to help 
you get used to the game and 
your moves, and to act as a brief 
introduction to the style of game. 
There's nothing difficult here, so 
try to get both the crystal and 
the box gem (see the Pick Up 
Your Valuables box for details, 
page 98) on your first go. Then 
go back in and get the relic The 
"Box Gem Difficulty" mark is my 
rough indication of how hard it is 
to break all the boxes and so get 
the box gem. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 4/10 

■ You're underwater - a first for 
the Crash trilogy. Press the ® 
button for a short speed burst 
The best approach is to ignore all 
the enemies, and concentrate on 
surviving. The underwater jetski 
you get is very useful, as you can 
use it to fire missiles that break 
open red plants and reveal the 
boxes behind. It can also perform 
a super speed burst, vital when 
you're doing the time trial. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 6/10 

■ Stretching all the way back to 
the original Crash is this level's 

"leap on the back of an animal 
and ride it through the level" idea. 
This time it's an oversized tiger 
cub - pressing ® makes him 
gallop, essential in getting the 
relic Pressing this will also smash 
through any barrels that are rolled 
your way. Don't use it when you 
are going for the box gem, 
though. The main thing to watch 
out for are the springboard men: 
they won't kill you, but they will 
bounce you up to a higher level - 
not always a good thing, as it 
may mean you miss some boxes. 

arrow at the top of the screen, as 
it shows you the way to go. The 
main danger on these levels are 
the floating bombs. Some of 
them move, and some stay still. 
Other hazards include the bombs 
that the ship fires, rowboats and 
the annoying anchor-wielding 
men. The box gem may prove 
tricky, as a couple of boxes are 
hidden behind ramps, so you 
could find yourself having to 
backtrack occasionally. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 4/10 

■ Hot lava and steaming geysers 
are the main hazards on this level. 
It starts with the usual into-the- 
screen action. Break the egg 
halfway through and you can 
climb aboard... something. It looks 
like a baby dinosaur, and boy, can 
it jump. The dino also provides 
you with extra protection - 
acting like a mask - with the 
added bonus that you can just 

' hop straight back on again and 
carry on unscathed. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 7/10 

■ Another first for Crash is this 
jetbike level, very reminiscent of 
Wave Race 64. It's quite easy to 
get lost, so keep an eye on the 

Tiny Tiger 

■ Returning from Crash 
Bandicoot 2 is Tiny, but 
this time he's a bit easier. 
When he starts his mad 
stomping, keep running 
around until he plants his 
trident in the ground and 
then spin attack him. He 
will release lions that 
you can kill with the 
spin attack, but there is 
normally another lion 
following up which will 
eat you as your spin 
ends. Just try to avoid 
them wherever possible. 

When Tiny starts 
jumping around, use 
the same spin tactic as 
before. His last attack is 
simply more lions. Again, 
avoid if you can, then hit 
Tiny once more to seal 
his fate and get your 
new move. 

96 1 Arcade | January | 1999 






■ Box gem difficulty: 2/10 

■ This level introduces the 
wizard enemy. They're nasty, as 
they can fire magic spells, which 
are tricky to avoid. The rest of the 
level is fairly easy, with the usual 
frogs, knights and goats to avoid. 
The box gem is straightforward, 
too. The only point where you 
might suffer is right at the end, 
when you have to hit an "I" box, 
surrounded by nitro boxes. Make 
sure you are clear of them all, 
especially the ones behind you. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 3/10 

■ The frst of the /VaoW/b-esque 
levels* this has a couple of difficult 
enemies, the worst of which are 
the svvash-bucklers. They're 
r\uherabe when they start 
asmgng ther swords wait until 
ther backs are tuned before 
grvng ihem the spn treatment 
The other enemy is the pot lady. 
9ie carries a wobbing tower of 
pots and if you son attack her. 
one fafc over her head and shel 
try to am you off the pfca'/ur-L 
The best way to kl her is to side 
her. This wi send her flying off . 
taking out anything else in her 
way. Vbul also encounter some 
netting. When you're under it. 
press and hold Jump to dng on 

to it, press ® to spin and press 
® to lift your legs. Watch out for 
the scorpions - they'll kill you if 
you touch them. 
Yellow gem: 

The only way to get this gem is 
through the special warp room, 
which becomes active once you 
have acquired five relics. However, 
to enter Hang 'em High from 
here will cost you 15 relics, so 
make sure you are prepared. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 6/10 

■ In this level you compete in a 
motorbike race, but, to get the 
crystal, you have to win. Follow 
the other cars, trying to get inside 
them if you can, and you'll be 
okay. Watch out for the green 
zipper pads, as these give you a 
massive speed burst which 
continues until you release the 
accelerator. However, it's hard to 
steer while pulling a wheelie. (Yes, 
you can still steer your bike, even 
though the front wheel is off the 
ground.) The box gem seems 
fairly simple, until you find you 
keep finishing the level with one 
box short If you go back, you'll 
see ft hiding behind a ramp. 










■ 3cx ge-" df">curty: 6/10 

■ r> the omb levels, you have to 
emer ana survive a pyramid fresh 

out of Egypt The pyramids are 
full of booby traps and strange 
enemies, so keep your wits 
about you. The flame-thrower 
men are particularly dangerous - 
time your run well, or you'll be 
burnt to a crisp. When you step 
on the stone switches, other 
platforms pop out for a short 
time, enabling you to jump on to 
the moving platforms. These 
platforms don't vanish, so take 
your time getting across. 
Clear gem: 

To get the clear gem, you must 
already have the purple gem or 
the purple door will not open. 
Follow this tricky path, and you'll 
end up at the clear gem. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 7/10 

■ Another riding level, only this 
time it's at night You have new 
enemies to cope with, who 
make getting the boxes very 
tricky. The dragons are the worst, 
as they can move in three 
different patterns. They are either 
low, so you have to jump over 
them, high, so you have to stay 
low to get under them, or a mix 
of both; pick your spot carefully if 
you want to get past them. 
Remember to gallop whenever 
you can if you're going for the 
relic Be careful, as a careless jump 
while galloping will smack you 
into one of the overhead bridges. 


■ This boss can be very 
tricky. Avoid the falling 
fire by standing between 
the shadows. Now run 
forward slightly, then 
turn back. This will make 
the Dingodile fire his gun 
at the place where you 
were. Do this a few times 
and you should be able 
to get to him. Go in, spin 
attack him, then get out 
before you get trapped. 
Repeat this twice more 
and it's all over. Make 
sure you get out before 
he blows up, though, or 
he'll take you with him. 

January | 1 999 1 Arcade 1 97 


■ Crash is joined by his near- 
identical sister Cocoa. Except 
she's got long blonde hair. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 5/10 

■ This level is U-shaped - you 
start by running away from 
the screen, then it changes to 
sideways scrolling, and finally 
sees you legging it into the 
camera as you're chased by a 
massive triceratops. The first 
stage is fairly easy -just 
remember to time your attack on 
the Crash seals (you need to wait 
until they stop spinning before 
you attack them). Watch out for 
the steaming geysers and lava 
flows, as before. Make sure you 
break open the egg and ride the 
baby dino again, because even if 
you get hit, you can hop back on 
him and carry on. Don't forget to 
access the secret level once you 
have the yellow gem. 

Clear gem: 

To get the clear gem, you must 

already have the yellow gem. This 

will create a platform which takes 
you to another U-shaped level, 
culminating in a very difficult "into 
the screen" chase, at the end of 
which you'll find the clear gem. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 8/10 

■ Welcome back the sub-agua 
world of Crash There are 
different enemies for you to 
negotiate this time, and they're 
mainly whirlpools. These turn on 
and off, so make sure you time 
your dash through them or you'll 
be sucked in. The underwater 
jetski is very useful, as it means 
you can shoot things and (like 
before) get the boxes hidden 
behind the red plants. When 
going for the box gem, don't 
forget you have to go via the red 
gem route (see below). The jetski 
dash is very handy when you're 
doing the time trial, as it's much 
faster than your normal speed. 

Red gem: 

Make your way to the end of the 
level, and you'll see a "I" box. Hit it, 
then go all the way back, down 
the tunnel, until you come to a 
lot of TNT and metal boxes. The 
switch you hit has made a TNT 
box appear. Don't attack it just 
touch the top of it, then retreat It 
will blow a way through for you. 
Follow this round and you'll end 
up at the red gem. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 4/10 

■ Not too different to Hang 
'em High when it comes to the 
enemies, but you do have to 
do a lot more net hanging. The 
perspective can make this tricky, 
but keep concentrating and you 
should be okay. Don't forget that 
by holding jump ® as you 
bounce on a trampoline ledge, 
you'll jump higher. This can prove 
invaluable later on in this level. 

PICK UP YOUR VALUABLES! I Just getting through the levels ain't enough 

■ Each level of Crash 3 has 
several shiny, necklace- 
friendly things for you to 
collect in order to properly 
finish the game. 

1) Crystals 

■ There is one crystal in 
every one of the main 25 
levels, and when you get all 
five crystals from a world 
the boss level of that world 
is opened up. 

2) Gems 

■ There are five main 
coloured gems (red, blue, 
green, yellow and purple), all 
of them very hard to find. 

When you do find one it will 
open up other areas of 
certain levels. 

You can also get box and 
dear gems. You receive a box 
gem when you break every 
single box on a level. This 
includes all TNT and nitro 
boxes. The number of boxes 
on a level ranges from 
around 20, right up to almost 
170. Good hunting! 

Clear gems are your 
reward when you fulfil a set 
task. You may get one by 
coming first in a race, or by 
taking a much harder route 
via a Skull and Crossbones 
platform. However you earn 

them, these gems are pretty 
tough to get your hands on. 

3) Relics 

■ A new addition to the 
Crash saga, you receive relics 
when you achieve a certain 
time on a level. Once you've 
got the crystal from a 
particular level, you can re- 
enter that level and try for a 
relic. The time you need to 
beat is displayed before you 
enter. There are three 
colours of relics: sapphire, 
gold, and platinum. 
Obviously, the faster you 
complete a level, the higher 
the award you get 

When you are going for the relic 
you can mix the double-jump 
and the super spin to fly right 
round the flames. 
Purple gem: 

To get to the purple gem, you 
have to get on the Skull and 
Crossbones platform. To make 
this platform solid, you first have 
to get every other gem, crystal 
and relic on this world. This path 
is very tricky, but it does end up 
at the purple gem. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 7/10 

■ Another bike race, only this 
time you have police cars to 
avoid, as well as barriers, 
opponents and bottomless 
ravines. Remember to slow down 
around sharp bends, because if 
you go too far off the road, you'll 
lose a lot of time. You can 
overtake your opponents on the 
inside of a bend if you get it just 
right If you hit all the zipper pads 
you should have no trouble 
winning the race and getting that 
crystal. Don't forget to try the 
secret level that you can access 
through this level! 


■ Box gem difficulty: 3/10 

■ This level introduces you to 
some nasty-looking giants, who 
will happily club you right into the 
camera if you get too close! 
Double-jump on to their heads to 
kill them. However, the best 
advice is to wait until one side 
swings a club, then run past that 
particular side. Other than these 
giants, the rest of the level is very 
similar to Gee Wiz at the start of 
World 2, just a bit harder. To get 
the platinum relic you will have to 
hold R2 through the entire level. 
It's not as hard as it sounds. 

N Tropy 

■ N Tropy is very easy to 
defeat When you start, 
he will fire an energy ball 
at you. Jump it Then he 
will try and shoot some 
lasers at you. Hop over 
them, then watch to see 
which tiles are flashing, 
and get on one that isn't 
The flashing tiles will fall 
away. Now make your 
way over to him and spin 
attack him. This time, 
when he fires the energy 
balls, the second one will 
be high, so duck under it 
Repeat the attack twice 
more, and you'll have 
him. Be warned, though 
- making your way over 
to him gets harder as he 
takes damage. 

98 1 Arcade | January | 1999 


■ Box gem difficulty: 9/10 

■ Another tomb level, and the 
same advice applies. The most 
common ways to die on this level 
are by getting impaled on spikes 
(which spring up, then retract), or 
by getting squashed under falling 
blocks. You can spin through the 
spikes without damage, but the 
falling blocks are a lot wider than 
they look, often squashing you 
when you thought you were 
safety past To get the box gem 
you have to double-jump over 
the large gap on the left route, 
grab the boxes here, then retrace 
your steps and go up the right 
ade as welVfery tricky. 

ifcu can only get this after you 
have acqured the blue gem. Hop 
on the blie platform midway 
through the level and it wi take 
you to a Afferent part of the 
ffxnb. through a very tricky route, 
at the end of which you wi find 
the dear gem 

■ Box gem difficulty: 1/10 

■ The first of three free-flight 
levels, and by far the easiest. All 
you have to do is to shoot down 
seven blimps or airships. Keep 
your finger on the ® for a rapid- 
firing machine gun, and keep 
tapping the ® to evade enemy 
fire. If you get low on health, 
shoot one of the first-aid 
balloons, which will cure you. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 5/10 

■ Another jetski level. Watch 
out for the pirate ships that fire 
cannonballs out at you. Try to go 
right through the middle of them, 
as this way you don't lose any 
speed. You may find that you 
have trouble getting all the 
boxes, and you will probably have 
to go through the level again 
backwards. The reason you can 
easiy miss some boxes is that 
you have to go around the back 

of the 

last pirate ship - there are five 

more boxes here. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 8/10 

■ On this level, remember that if 
you touch anything orange, you'll 
get zapped. You can kill the little 
men in flying saucers by jumping 
directly on top of them, or by 
using the apple launcher. If you 
are going for the box gem, make 
sure you jump over the "!" box in 
the middle of the level, so you 
can get the boxes underneath 
where the metal boxes will form. 
To kill the ED-209 enemies, 
dodge their three rockets, then 
hit into the target on their back. 
Clear gem: 

The only way to get the clear 
gem is to take the extra route via 
the secret warp room. 


I Box gem difficulty: 6/10 
I This level is easy if you take 

your ^^ 

time. Remember 
that Crash can't swim, 
so jump on the platforms when 
the water level rises, or you'll 
drown. If you don't think you 
can't make it to the next 
platform, stop, and wait for the 
water to rise and sink again. 
Don't risk anything. This level is 
much easier once you have the 
apple launcher, as it enables you 
to kill the enemies and nitro 
boxes without getting too close. 
Watch out for the blocks that 
slide out, as these can easily push 
you into a nitro box or ravine. 
Blue gem: 

To get the blue gem, you have to 
get every other crystal, gem, and 
relic available in this world, apart 
from the ones that need the 
blue gem. When you have these, 
the skull and cross bones 
platform will become solid, 
taking you to a tough sub-level 
that leads to the blue gem. 


■ Crash pilots a flying 
machine for this boss, 
and at a press of the © 
button the tiger you can 
ride on comes and helps 
you, so you can now fire 
three shots at once. Aim 
for the flashing yellow 
parts on N Gin's ship and, 
after three hits, he will 
retreat - only to return 
with more power than 
any of the other bosses. 
But he's still easy to kill, 
as long as you keep 
moving and shooting 
the rockets he fires. 

■ Captain Fish will be 
pleased - it looks like 
we've found another 
game with fins in. 


January | 1 999 1 Arcade | 99 


N Cortex 

■ The toughest boss 
in the game -it will 
probably take some time 
before you manage to 
kill him. First of all, jump 
the spinning beam while 
avoiding the fireballs. 
When Cortex starts 
chucking mines, make 
your way over to him 
and spin attack when his 
shield is down. Now you 
have to spin attack him 
again and again, trying 
to bounce him down the 
pit in the middle of the 
floor. When you do this, 
he loses a chuck of 
energy. Now the masks 
join together and look 
like they are following 
you. They're not, 
however - they're just 
following a set pattern. 
Watch it closely, and 
learn the pattern, again 
dodging the fireballs that 
Cortex throws at you. 
When he's lobbed his 
mines, spin attack him 
again and once more try 
to spin him down the pit 
For Cortex's final attack, 
the masks join together, 
and then dive at you. 
Keep moving and 
jumping, always 
remembering to avoid 
the fireballs. As before, 
when the mines are 
thrown, spin attack him 
into the pit, and he'll be 
destroyed. The apple 
launcher is now yours. 

■ Box gem difficulty: 6/10 

■ Another futuristic level, only 
this time it's much harder Again, 
remember that if you touch 
anything orange you'll get 
zapped. The ED-209 robots are 
back, and just as hard as ever to 
kill. As long as you take your time, 
this level is not actually that bad - 
it's getting the relics that's going 
to cause you the problems, as 
when you start rushing, you can 
make mistakes, and on this level 
there's simply no room for errors. 
Clear gem: 

You must already have the green 
gem, then jump on the green 
platform to open up the route to 
the clear gem. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 7/10 

■ Yep, you're back at the races. 
This time, however, the police 
cars move across the road, trying 
to impede your progress. They're 
quite easily avoided, though - 
just aim toward the side they're 
on the second you see them. This 
level sees you making a lot of 
jumps over ravines, so make sure 
you hit the ramp, or you'll get 
that falling feeling. You can get 
past ravines by going right to the 
outside of the track - it'll slow 
you down, but at least you won't 
fall in. By this point in the game, 
the other drivers will have 
developed terrible driving habits, 
deliberately trying to bump you 
down the nearest ravine, so try to 
keep your distance. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 5/10 

■ As the name suggests, this 
level has a lot of fire to avoid. 

Getting through it isn't too tough, 
but getting the relic - especially 
the gold one - is. Use the 
double-jump spin method to get 
any fire blocking your way. There 
are also some tricky 3D jumps to 
perform, so make sure you take 
your time on these, or you'll see 
yourself right back at the 
beginning of the level. 
Green gem: 

You have to use the Skull and 
Crossbones platform, which again 
means getting all the other gems, 
crystals and relics from this world 
first. Not easy. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 2/10 

■ Another flying level, and this 
one is a bit trickier. The main 
difference is that your target is 
now a lot smaller and is moving. 
What you are aiming for are the 
two engines on each of the 
enemy bombers. Remember to 
spin if you are under enemy fire. 
Use the arrow at the top of the 
screen as a way-pointer - it 
shows you the way to the 
nearest bomber. Getting the gold 
relic will definitely take you a 
while, though. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 7/10 

■ The last normal level in the 
game sees the return of the 
glow bugs, who made their first 
appearance in Crash 2 They will 
stay with you for a while, then 
go, so make sure you get a new 
bug whenever you can. Don't 
grab them as soon as you see 
them - instead, make sure any 
doors in your way are open 
before you pick your bug up. 
Midway through the level you'll 
get three masks, making you 
invulnerable. As you are charging 

100 1 Arcade | January 1 1999 

through the nitro boxes, don't 
forget that you can still die if you 

II into any of the ravines. 
Clear gem: 

To get the clear gem, you have 
to have all five of the coloured 
gems. This will take you on a 
very treacherous route, leading 
eventually to the clear gem. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 10/10 

■ The final jetski level. It looks 
almost identical to the first secret 
level, and just as difficult Finishing 
the level isn't too tricky, but this is 
without doubt the hardest level 
in the game for getting the gold 
relic - chiefly because there are 
so many yellow time-off boxes, 
most of them surrounded by 
bombs. Make no mistake, you will 
need all your speed and skill to 
get the gold relic and get off this 
level intact 


■ Ge~ : yeiow 

■ The isn't a standalone level, 
meiety an add-on to the original 
Hang 'em Hgh is the only 
way to get the yelow gem. 
Remember that there's no rush, 
so make sue you watch and 
learn al the patterns of the 
enemies, so you can time your 
attacks perfectly 

3 AREA 51 

■ Box gem difficulty: 7/10 

■ The trickiest racing level by far 
- not least because this time 
you're up against some UFOs! 
Not only this, but the police cars 
now drive straight for you as 
oncoming traffic. Add to this the 
fact that you're now racing at 
night, with only your headlamp 
for light, and you can probably 
see how it swiftly becomes very 
tough. If you see any barriers, 
this means that there are ravines 
right behind, so move over 
sharpish! Also, the UFOs have a 
nasty habit of switching from 
one side of the road to the other 
for no particular reason. You have 
been warned! 


■ Gems: dear 

■ Again, similar to Hang 'em 
High, in that ths is just an addition 
to the main level, Future Frenzy. 
This route wJ lead you to the 

clear gem, and it's not all that 
tricky, especially considering it's a 
clear gem route. 


■ Box gem difficulty: 6/10 

■ The final free-flight level, 
although you do have a route 
you have to follow. Simply fly 
through all the rings. That's it As 
is often the case, winning the 
race is far too easy, but the hard 
part comes when you try for the 
relic (especially the gold relic). The 
only way you are going to get 
this is by spinning as you go 
through each ring. This gives you 
a massive speed burst, but makes 
control much more difficult 
Clear gem: 

Simply win the race. 

WHERE IN THE WDRLD? I The top secret levels are hard to find 

■ As with the other Crash 
games, there are a couple 
of top-secret levels hidden 
somewhere within the 
game. You can access 
the first via the second 
motorbike level. Road Crash. 
Midway through the level 
you will see a small yellow 
sign on the left side of the 
road with an alien painted 
on it Simply crash Crash into 
it and you'll be warped 
straight there. 

The second top-secret 
level is harder to reach. First, 
you have to get 15 relics and 
the yellow gem. Now enter 
the level Dino Might, on the 
third world, and jump on the 
yellow platform. When you 
reach the "running into the 
screen" part, run Crash into 
the second pterodactyl. 
You'll be carried to the 
second secret level. 

Is that it? Yep, afraid so. You've finished the game. Now roll on Crash Bandicoot 4... 

January | 1 999 1 Arcade 1 101 


■ There were lots of 
great things in the last 
Arcade. Codemasters' 
favourite thing was the 
small red box at the top 
of page 115, next to the 
review of TOCA 2, saying 
their baby was Arcade's 
PlayStation Game of the 
Month. In fact, it seems 
that the company was so 
pleased, it has written us 
a whole page of TOCA 2 
tips especially. Ah, bless. 







■ Wind resistance is always going to be a bit of a problem when your spare 
wheel's stuck to the bonnet. Come to think of it, visibility might suffer too. 

■ All the info you need 
for TOCA tracks and cars. 

The tracks 

■ TOCA 2 features an exciting 
test track, enabling you to give 
your chosen car some welly on 
a variety of surfaces. One of 
the best uses of the test track 
is to experiment with your car 
setup, accessed via the pause 
menu. Once you've done your 
fiddling, re-enter the track at 
the point you left it, providing 
you with a direct and easily 
accessible comparison. 

Some test track options 
have large elevation changes - 
this is good for practice when 
you start taking on tracks like 
Brands Hatch. Another option 
includes a dirt track with an 
extremely slippery surface; this 
is useful for learning how to 
control spin-outs. 

The cars 

■ All the cars included in the 
game have unique properties. 
To discover your favourite car, 
try driving a couple of laps 
around Donington in each one 
and see which you prefer. Your 

best options are probably the 
Honda, Renault, Audi or Volvo, 
as these four have a little more 
power than the others. 

When choosing a support 
car, it's important to realise that 
these cars handle differently. 
You can drive the Fiesta just like 
the TOCA cars, but it's slower. 
The Van Diemen needs some 
attention to prevent oversteer 
and you should avoid collisions 
at all costs. The Lister, AC TVR 
and Jaguar also need a change 
in driving style. 

While driving the TOCA 
cars you can leave braking til 
75-50 metres and keep on the 
brakes round the corner; the 
support cars, however, require 
you to brake at about 100m 
(150m for Jag) and finish your 
de-acceleration before entering 
the corner. Apply gas gently 
after hitting the inside apex of 
most corners, but be sparing 
(especially in the Lister). There 
are some good hairpin bends 
that let the AC, Jag and TVR 
give plenty of oversteer on the 
exit, which can be fun. 

The Scorpion drives like a 
more nervous version of the 

Van Diemen. All the rear-wheel 
drive cars need great respect in 
the wet, especially the AC, as 
you can't increase downforce. 
Again, choose a car and play 
around with it; experimentation 
is key when you're evaluating a 
car's performance. 

And to conclude... 

■ Practice is the name of the 
game. Don't just bomb around 
the tracks, take your time and 
don't get frustrated if you keep 
losing control. 

Each track requires its own 
specific driving technique, and 
they all need learning. Work 
out which bends are giving you 
problems and practice them 
until you've got 'em right. Don't 
make a lot of small corrections 
left and right. Run a clean line 
whereever possible. Decide 
which part of the track you're 
most comfortable overtaking 
the other cars on, then just be 
patient and wait for that point 
before you make your move. 

Overall, keep practising, 
concentrate during the races 
and never let up (even when 
you're well in front). 


1) Thou shalt learn the 

■ Practice in single race. To 
achieve the best lap times, you 
need to learn each track well. 

2) Thou shalt familiarise 
thyself with the cars 

■ All the cars handle a bit 
differently, so find which ones 
suit your driving style and get 
to know them. Renaults and 
Nissans are good all-rounders. 

3) Thou shalt drive well 

■ Scoring a good qualifying 
time is very important to get 
you through later and harder 
stages. There is no room to 
mess up, because you only get 
one lap. Even when you know 
you're heading for a good lap 
time or are well ahead of the 
pack, don't let up. Keep on the 
gas and increase your lead by 
as much as possible. 

4) Thou shalt pay 
attention to thy car 

■ Take notice of the way your 
car is set up - this can have a 
real influence on how you do 
on specific tracks. For example, 
at Thruxton you need to max 

■ And now the bit you really want to know; the 
cheats. Enter the code name as your driver's name, 
and prepare to experience a different kind of racing. 


Micro Machines camera view 


Bouncy barriers 


Low gravity 


Propeller-head championship 


No kick-out of champ 


Battle mode 


Lock frame-rate during qualification 


Bouncy crashes 


OTT crashes 


Stretch track vertically 


Blur horizons 


Wheels only (no car body) 




Oulton Park island circuit 

■ Fancy playing TOCA 2 from a diddy MicroMachines 
perspective? Or racing with no chassis? Now you can. 

your sixth gear, while at Brands 
Hatch the default gear set-up 
should work fine. 

5) Thou shalt not rush it 

■ Use the brakes. Piling into 
corners at top speed may often 
result in you spinning out. Keep 
the car steady along straights, 
brake down to the cornering 
speed before you start to turn, 
turn smoothly into the corner 
and then accelerate out. 

6) Thou shalt race inside 

■ If you are approaching a 
corner in a pack, take the 
inside racing line and use the 
other cars to guide you round 
the corner. TOCA cars are very 
twitchy; you must learn to take 
the corners at the appropriate 
speed. The Time Trial option 

is specifically designed for this, 
giving you the opportunity to 
perfect your corners as you 
score progressively faster times. 

7) Thou shalt work out 
the short-cuts 

■ Some tracks have useful 
little short-cuts you can use, 
thus avoiding nasty chicanes 
and corners. 

8) Thou shalt pay 
attention to the pit crew 

■ Some of your pit crew's 
speech is very informative and 
useful. This means driving into 
the pit lane when your team- 
mate is already there is a waste 
of valuable time. 

9) Thou shalt purchase a 
steering wheel 

■ Analogue acceleration and 
braking is a big advantage in 
the wet, especially on support 
cars. Invest in a steering wheel 
and pedals - this is how you 
should play racing games, and 
it gives you the most realistic 
playing experience. 

10) Thou shalt keep off 
the grass 

■ Stick to the track and take 
the best racing line - going off 
track can be very detrimental 
to your car's performance and 
handling. Preventing spins is 
also important. If you feel the 
car starting to spin, reduce your 
acceleration and steer back on 
to the right line. If you end up 
on the grass, stay in a straight 
line until you get to the tarmac. 

102 | Arcade | January 1 1 999 



F-Zero X is simply the 
fastest, most adrenaline- 
fuelled, multi-player "car" 
extravaganza ever - and 
one that turns out to be 
truly rewarding when 
you put it in the effort 
to get to grips with the 
controls and layout of the 
tracks, thus allowing your 
natural skills to shine 
through as you develop 
your own style of driving. 

Right after you make the third 
hard turn on Mute City II, you 
will see a ramp to the left that 


looks like it will lead you off- 
track. If you hit it using a 
booster, you will fly over the 
gap and take a sneaky short- 
cut on to the next strip of 
tracks. You can stop your car 
spinning while you pick the 
settings by pressing all four C 
buttons at the same time. 
During any GP race in F-Zero X, 
press the L button to see how 
far behind you are from the 
leader, or how far ahead you 
are of the second placed 
vehicle. The time will appear in 
the upper right-hand corner of 
the screen. 



What did we reckon to 
WipEout 64, then? I've no 
idea, but I'll just nip over 
to page 144 and have a 
look. In the meantime, 
here's how to pull off a 
screamingly fast start. 

Listen carefully to the "3, 2, 1" 

countdown. Just before it gets 
to "1", give your motor some 
gas with the A button. The 
meter will start to rise, but 
don't worry about this. The 
meter will rise to about three- 
quarters full, and you'll turbo 
boost away from the line at a 
stunning rate of knots. 


American Football, eh? What on god's 
green earth is that all about? 

On the match-up screen enter these codes. The numbers 
refer to the number of times you have to press Turbo, 
7 Jump and Pass. So, for Unlimited Turbo press Turbo five 
times. Jump once. Pass four times and then press Up. 




Gain invincibility 

When you're at the "Press 
Start" screen, push A, Z, 
Z, Up, Left, Left-C, 
Left-C and Down-C. 

Need to hear that one 
more time? On the "Press 
Start" screen, push the 
following buttons, A, Z, 
Z, Up, Left, Left-C, 
Left-C and Down-C 


Unlimited Turbo 


Speed mode 


Random plays 


Super FGs (field goals) 


Late hits 


Show more field 


Lights out 


Fast Turbo 


Show FG% 


Computer almost unbeatable 


Super Blitz 


Bullet passes 


Step out of bounds enabled 


Hide name 


Hyper Blitz 


Tournament mode 


No first downs 


No interceptions 


No random fumbles 


No punting 


No stadium 


No CPU assistance 
No head 


No heads (team) 


Big head 


Big heads (team) 


Huge head 


Big players 


Small players 


Big football 


Powered-up team 


Powered-up blockers 


Powered-up defence 


Powered-up offence 
Clear weather 










Thick fog 



■ Here's some stuff 
that might be useful if 
you've managed to get 
your sticky mitts on the 
import version of MGS 
and have already got 
really good at it. 

Proving just what a game of 
depth Metal Gear Solid is, 
there's still plenty to see if 
you've finished the game. 
There certainly aren't many 
games you'd want to come 
back to once you've finished 
them, but MGS has such 
attention to detail that you 
might just find that you want 
to. If you complete the game 
twice, for example, the third 
time round, Solid Snake will 
change into a tuxedo. Fourth 
time he'll change into a ninja 
costume. If you successfully 
complete the game without 
submitting to the torture, 
you'll save Meryl and receive 
the bandana, which gives 
you unlimited ammunition. 

If you play the game 
using a memory card that 
contains a saved game from 
any prior Konami title, such 
as Castlevania, ISS Soccer, 
Suikoden or Silent Hill, and 
Psycho Mantis will then start 
talking about them when he 
reads your mind. 

There's a camera that 
you may have missed, too. 
Reach area B2 of the tank 
hangar. At the end of the 
hallway, to the right side of 
the door where you fight 
Revolver, is a secret room 
that you can enter after 
using C4 explosive. In the 
room are Level 4 and Level 
6 doors. The camera is in the 
room behind the Level 4 
door and you can, er... take 
pictures with it. 

Once you have got the 

camera, follow Meryl into the 
Women's bathroom. If you 
make it to the last stall quick 
enough, you'll catch her with 
her pants down. You can 
even take a picture of her 
with the camera, if you're 
that kind of a sicko. 

And wondering how to 
defeat Psycho Mantis? Plug 
the controller in to port two 
and press any button before 
fighting him. Use the second 
controller to fight him, to 
keep him from knowing your 
moves. Alternatively, shoot 
the statues in the top corners 
- this will render Psycho 
Mantis helpless without his 
psychic abilities. 

January | 1999 1 Arcade 1 103 



It's simple, really, all you need to do is press A, B and Z at some point during 
the game and you will now get access to a level-select option. Pink feet frenzy! 



■ It's long been a kind 
of tradition in video 
games to feature end- 
of-level bosses. These 
guard the way into the 
next level and tax your 
new skills just that little 
bit further, and Tenchu 
is no exception. Here's 
how to beat the big, 
bad bosses... 

Stage 1 

■ The swordsman will take 
some time before he draws 
his sword, so attack before 
he does. He will also change 
direction rapidly and might 
catch you out with his wide 
swings, so watch out. The 
accountant has a gun, and 
will fire at you to protect the 
swordsman. If you kill the 
swordsman first, then the 
accountant should give you 
no problems. 

Stage 3 

■ You need to strike as the 
boss prepares to let rip with 
his overhead chop. He will 
then sweep his club along 
the floor as he misses, which 
is your cue to jump and then 
strike. Occasionally this guy 
will also swing his club in a 
wide arc. Avoid this move by 
circling round behind him to 
attack. If he's brought his 
dog with him, clobber the 
wet-nosed bast first. 

Stage 4 

■ Take out the first boss 
using the same strategy as 
before - if anything, he 

should be easier. The second 
boss is tricky. Watch for his 
fast kick attacks. Strike when 
he is bouncing around or just 
after he jumps, but not while 
he's halfway through pulling 
off a jump-kick. 

Stage 5 

■ Watch as he swings wide 
and rapidly. Be especially 
wary of his hook and make 
sure that he doesn't push 
you to the back of the boat. 
Another gunner will make 
your life difficult given half a 
chance - push him into the 
water with bombs, or drain 
his energy with slashes. 

Stage 7 

■ As before, but this time 
you'll need to take off all 200 
of the boss's life points. You 
can both fall off the building 
and still continue fighting, 
though neither of you will 
take damage. 

Stage 8 

■ The last boss is not a 
pushover. He has a nasty 
lightning attack that rarely 
misses, so get in early. His 
energy is high, so if you need 
to heal, run away to the far 
corners of the room where 
you should be more safe. His 
swordplay consists of several 
forward slashes and a fast 
spinning slash; however, they 
aren't that dangerous if 
you're alert. Keep hitting him, 
moving forwards and not 
letting up your barrage, and 
he should fall easily. 

As should have become 
obvious from this issue's 
Games Night (page 68), 
there's only one person 
round here who's really 
any good at 1080°. Me. 
Unfortunately, I'm pretty 
hopeless at most other 
games, but with 1080° 
rising in the charts, sitting 
down and playing on the 
office N64 for a couple of 
snowy afternoons when 
everybody else was busy 
doing some proper work 
seemed like the only 
decent thing a man could 
do. I harped on about 
getting to grips with the 
control methods in the 
last issue of Arcade, and 
by way of a follow up, 
here's a little board, rider 
and track info. 

Board-wise, always pick the 
Tahoe 155. For Contest and 
Trick attack, use Ricky and Rob. 
For Air Make in the Trick attack, 
use Kensuke. For the Half-pipe, 
Ricky and Rob are good, but 
Dion Blaster is definitely the 
best because his speed enables 
him to make some major air. 
Akari is the best jumper, so use 
her when you're going for the 
Air Make in Trick attack. 

Crystal Lake 
Time attack 

Ignore the initial two jumps 
and first drop off. Take the 
ramp to the side of the house 
on the right, crouching. Ensure 
that the board is level with the 
ramp, and aim for the snow 
behind. Hang left at the TV 
screen. You ought to be able to 
crouch for the majority of the 
remaining track. 

Trick attack 

Take the first two jumps, 
hang left at the hill and jump 
by the rock. Ignore the ramp by 
the house, but grab some air 
from the right banks. Spin and 
grab as much as possible up to 
the finish line. 

Crystal Peak 
Time attack 

Ignore the first jump, and 
head right at the fork, jump the 
ledge and keep your board to 
the snow. Take the left next 
fork, clinging to the left side. 
Once you're over the ice, take a 
sharp right then left at the wall. 
Hang to the right, and stay iow 

once you're back out in the 
clear. Again, cling right Hold Z 
at the bumps and ensure your 
board remains parallel to the 
ground as much as possible. 

Trick Attack 

Take the first jump, then the 
jump to the left. Veer right, 
then up the middle to the big 
jump. Skirt right at the fork for 
a straight path that's just crying 
out for some serious stuntage. 
Past the TV screen, take the 
first jump, ignore the second 
and take the far-left third. 

Golden Forest 
Time attack 

Hang a crucial right at the 
first fork, but ease up on the Z 
button to avoid the right-hand 
bank. Ignore the powder snow 
at the opening (stay right), 
jump over the two logs and 
stay in the middle of the track 
as you fork left to avoid hitting 
your head. Jump the first log, 
but then go round the second. 
Follow the frozen stream, and 
keep an eye out for the rock 
you'll meet at the drop-off. 

Trick attack 

You can take the same route 
as above. Jump at the top of 
every hill, and make use of the 
big log and waterfall. 

Mountain Village 
Time attack 

Initially hold Z and make sure 
you stay on the snow. As the 
path opens, cling left, fall on to 
the rocks and adhere to the left 
all the way to the tunnel. Fork 
right (watching for the walls), 
right again (hugging the right 
wall) and left. Jump the two 
logs and then take the hill side 
past the road. Board left past 
the big pile of snow and ramp. 
Turn right at the black and 

yellow jump, and then do your 
best to stay on the pavement 
the rest of the way. 

Trick attack 

Follow the path and take 
the huge jump through the hut. 
Hang a right, left and jump on 
to the big rock. Follow the 
same path to the pile of snow, 
skate up the ramp and stay left 
of the pipe. Aim for the black 
and yellow jump-in, follow the 
path and then make healthy 
use of the red car to pull off as 
much stuntage as possible. 

Dragon Forest 
Time attack 

To begin with, keep strictly 
to the snow, then take the 
bridge. Fork left, jump into the 
tunnel and stay in for as long as 
you possibly can. Finally, go to 
the right of the house for the 
fastest route home. 

Trick attack 

Fork right for more jumpage. 

Deadly Fall 
Time attack 

Keep straight and miss the 
bumps. Take the ramp on to 
the big rock, jumping at the 
top to get across. Next, follow 
the narrow path to the right, 
straighten up, over the two 
cliffs, and go left at the big ice 
trench. Ignore the left turning, 
in preference to veering left a 
little and leaping off the cliff. 
Take the middle path, hang a 
left round the tall rocks and 
bingo! You're home free. 

Trick attack 

Keep right to find the jumps. 
The only ramp is between the 
four tall rocks. You can climb 
quite a lot of the rocks by first 
pressing, and then repeatedly 
tapping the Z button. 

104 1 Arcade | January 1 1 999 


■ In Arcade 1, Total Annihilation won our "Best of 
Breed" award in the "Strategy" section, where we 
said it was "faster, meaner and far more involved 
that any other strategy title on the market". And, 
better still, it's now out on budget. Cheats abound- 
To select a mission, dick on the "Single Player" icon. You need to 
type "drdeath"' at the single-player game screen and then click 
on the bone symbol. Begin a game in skirmish or multi-player 
mode, press [enter] then the [plus] key on the numeric keypad, 
and enter the code that you want from this list: 




Increase metal and energy by 1,000 



Display game clock 
Play CD music 


Stop CD music 


View 3D contour mesh 


Control skirmish Al 


Dithering replaces grey line of sight 


Double weapon damage 


Half weapon damage 


Lost game 


Win game 


Kill all units 


1,000 darker structures 


Black structures 


Decrease energy 


Decrease metal 


Disable explosion screen effect 


Full map, disable line of sight 


Full radar 


Toggle object shadowing 


Units sing when highlighted 


Toggle 3D sound 

VIEW «0-3» 

Press [alt] + «number» to switch units 
View opponent's energy, metal 


Share radarl 


Share metall 


Share energyl 


Share all resourcesl 


Also shoot buildings 



7"' ;■' 4 V\ *. 


* "' 

Here's a very easy 
way to both win all the 
challenges and unlock 
the secret characters. 

Select the belt you want to 
win and pick the Super Brawl 
ring. As soon as the match 
starts, throw your opponent 
outside of the ring. Get him 
on to the entrance ramp and 
throw him out into the black 
space. He will disappear. 

Move out of the way 
and then let him run all the 
way back to the ring. He will 
hit the ring and be stunned. 
While he is still stunned, grab 
him and throw him again. 
Keep doing this until about 
three seconds remain before 
you are counted out. Now 
run toward the ring holding 
C-Down and you will slide 
into the ring. Your opponent 
will be counted out. 

For a quick win, start a 
match, then get out of the 

ring, run toward the entrance 
and grab a weapon. Run 
toward your opponent using 
Down-C and hit B when you 
reach him to knock him flat 
on his back. Repeat this five 
or six times and he ought to 
buy it. To block a weapon 
attack, press Left and Right 
whenever an opponent is 
trying to hit you with a 
weapon - this should enable 
you to grab their weapons. 
Also, you did know that 
you can change your taunt 
by pressing Down, and mimic 
your opponent's taunt by 
rotating the analogue stick 
anti-clockwise, didn't you? 
You didn't? Just as well we 
thought to mention it, then. 

■ Of course the best thing about Star Trek is the 
metaphors it's given us for one of the only hobbies 
that seems just as male-orientated as videogaming, 
what with "Shaking hands with a Klingon", "Taking 
Captain Picard to Warp Speed" and the like. Klingon 
Honor Guard was the first Star Trek game to let you 
do some killing, implementing the Star Trek universe 
into a Doom-style shooter. Naturally, therefore, there 
are plenty of cool cheats available. Press [tab] during 
gameplay, then type one of the following codes. 




999 of all ammunition 


External view 


Normal view 


Reset bad textures 


Fly mode 


No clipping mode 


God mode 


Hide everything 


Show everything 


Disable invisibility 




Kill selected monsters 


Kill all monsters 


Level select 


Disable timer 


Set game speed 


Summon item 


Walk mode 


Activate item 


Add more bots 


Play the specified CD track 

Januay| 1999 1 Arcade 1 105 




An expansion on our 
words from last issue - 
some more tricks to try 
out as you fling your car 
around in Cruis'n World. 

When you want to overtake 
another computer racer easily, 
tap A twice to do a wheelie 
when you are immediately 
behind someone. They will 
veer out of the way instantly. 
This really helps when you are 
on your final lap and need to 
catch up quickly. Don't wheelie 
too often, though, because you 
can't turn well while you're 
doing it. You can get a turbo 
boost and then wheelie right 
over everybody by pressing the 
gas and quickly shifting into 
first gear just before the "set" 
(of "Ready, set, go!") begins to 
disappear. Remember, you'll 
need to shift all the way up to 
fourth gear afterwards. 

You get the chance to play 
on the Moon if you finish the 



"Cruis'n the World" mode and 
wait for the credits to end. 

If you get into big trouble, 
you can speed right through a 
collision or on-coming traffic 
with a turbo boost. 

If you're looking for some 
more tricks to add to your list 
and rack-up points then why 
not impress your mates and try 
these? Do a 360° at the top of 
the ramp by pushing left or 
right. Pop a wheelie on a jump 
to do a flip. Do a barrel-roll by 
flicking the joystick 180° when 
pulling a sideways flip. And do 
a flip-roll by doing a normal flip 
during a jump, then pressing B, 
B, A, B, C-Up to roll in mid-air. 

Imagine a world with 
huge, hideous creatures, 
unfazed by the heaviest 
artillery the military can 
muster. A world of flesh- 
eating mutants, who are 
hell-bent on reducing the 
population of Small Town 
USA to an unhealthy zero, 
and a lone hero - Earth's 
last hope of avoiding its 
decidedly grisly fate as a 
larder for a race of gory 
alien superbeings. 

Or you could just play 
Body Harvest, saving your 
imagination the trouble. 
Body Harvest scored four 
stars in Arcade 1. 

Use the name ICHEAT, and get 
ready for some in-game button 
action. Try C-Down, C-Up, Up, Z, 

Z, Left and C-Right to make 
your weapons more powerful, 
or C-Down, Up, Right, Right, C- 
Right, A and Left to get some 
weird graphical doings. 

If you know where to look 
for it, there's a secret room in 
stage one of Greece, as well. 
It's a good place to pick up a 
machine gun, fuel and health. 
Go into the mine where you 
picked up the TNT. Go to the 
right wall to the torch closest 
to the chest that contained the 
TNT. When you reach the torch, 
press A. The nearby wall will 
open, leading to some stairs. 
Go up the stairs and you will 
find two barrels with water in 
them and one chest. The chest 
contains the machine gun. The 
barrels contain the handy extra 
helpings of fuel and the health. 



■ Chronic Stimulation or Colonic Irritation? It's all a 
matter of preference, really, but it's safe to say that 
CWV's a game that could benefit from some codes. 
Lucky, then, that we've got these for you. (You have 
to enter the first letter as a capital, and the others as 
small letters -just like your name.) 




All weapons 

Dark Angel 

Primary weapons 


Unlimited secondary weapons 


Unlimited afterburners 


Unlimited money 


All ships 
Mission and FMV select 


Multiple cheats 


Disable cheats 


Head into wide, open 3D space in Colony Wars. 

■ It's at times like these 
that you can't help but 
begin to wonder: is there 
anyone actually reading? 
If you are, then let's hope 
you own Test Drive 5 and 
want to know if there are 
any cheats. And not liking 
to disappoint... 

To unlock all the game modes, 
enter VRSIX as a name on the 
high-score screen, and save the 
game settings. For all the tracks 
and cars, enter RONE, NTHREE, 
and MTHREE as names on the 

high-score screen. For more 
cars still, enter NOLIFE as a 
name on the high-score screen. 
For super arcade mode, enter 
SPURT as a name on the high- 
score screen, and for a bonus 
FMV music sequence, enter 
AUXYRAY as a name on the 
high-score screen. 

fo t H^tHii i j : 

. w 

*SSI37tS Bf TftRKA 



■ Enter these codes on the password screen. 

On the N64, try: 

BRAINY Big heads 

BIGBIG Big players 

FREEEA EA Blades and EA Storm teams 

FAST Faster gameplay 

And on the PlayStation, opt for: 

3RD Alternate jerseys 

BRAINY Big heads 

BIGBIG Big players 

FREEEA EA Blades and EA Storm teams 

SPEEDY Faster gameplay 

VICTORY FMV sequence 


■ Stuff on the recent 
Platinum re-release. 

Wait for the main screen with 
the three target boxes. Shoot 
the hole in the centre of the 
letter "R" in the word "CRISIS" 
twice, then shoot inside the 
cross hairs that are next to the 
word "TIME" twice . A cheat 
menu with life, credit and shot 
options will appear. To select 
your level, hold L1+ ® + ® for 

five or so seconds. Press Start 
at the title screen to jump to 
any level. If you're finding life a 
bit tricky, pick the first mission 
from the mission-selection 
screen. Time attack and Story 
mode options will appear. 
Shoot outside the screen, then 
shoot the selection box for 
Story mode. An easy option 
will appear on the Story mode 
box, which gives you five extra 
lives and bags of extra time. 

Time Crisis: Watch men die! It's really rather good. 

106 [ Arcade | January 1 1 999 



Enter the following as passwords: 

Alien saucer 

R1, @, ®, ®,L2,® 

Play as Goliath 

®,L1,R1, ®,L2,L2 

Play as Nightshade 

R1,R2,L1,L1, ®, ® 

Play as Helicopter 

L1, ®,R2, ®, ®,R1 

Double pick-ups 

L1, L2, ©,L1, R1, @ 

Increased armour 

R1, ®,R1, ®,L1, © 

Unlimited turbos 

©, ®, ©, ®,R1,R2 

Unlimited jumps 

©, ©,R2, ®, ®,R2 

Funtopia level 

®, ®,L2, ®, ®,L1 

Gulch level 

®, @, ®,L1,L2,@ 

Boss battle 

©,R2,R1, ®,L1,R2 

Boss battle 2 

®, ®,L2, L1, ®, ® 

Boss battle with Big Daddy 

®. ®, ©, ©,R2, R2 

■ If you hold L1 or R1 and 
jump to roll to either side 
you'll be temporarily 
invincible. To get unlimited 
money, you must repeatedly 
play the Beast Hunter game at 
the studio, or locate the 
garbage can and pop can on 
the ground near the Jetiad 

Bakery on the Shopping Street, 
kick the can into the bakery 
and speak to the woman inside 
to receive $1,000. You can 
repeat this as often as you like. 
For an extra life, you need to 
shoot the things that look like 
Lego Pirates which appear 
when some baddies are killed. 

■ For the special moves, hold © and enter one of the 
following codes during game play: 


■ Select tournament mode and enter as a name: 
WONITALL All tracks 

OPEN EM All boarders 

BIGHEADS Big head mode 




Cash suck 

Rear fire 



Up on two wheels to the left 

Up on two wheels to the right 


Up, Right, Down, Left 

Right, Left, Up 

Left, Right, Up 

Right, Left, Down 

Left, Right, Down 


Up, Down, Left 

Up, Down, Right 

■ Struggling to avoid looking pissed on the piste? 
Use our cheats to have a go at any track... 


■ Enter one of the following codes at the main 
menu, then select "New Game". 


; Code 


Level select 

Unlimited ammo 

Enemy steps 


All weapons 


■ You probably already 
know that Tom Clancy is a 
novelist, but since we're a 
videogame magazine 
that takes things just a 
little further, mixing the 
games stuff up with bits 
on films, videos and 
music too, we thought 
we should investigate a 
Irttte more deeply. 

First .•« asked Robin 
Afcwey Arcade's Games Editor, 
if he knew who Tom Oancy 
was. Unfortunately. Mr Alway 
darned that he cidn't read 
bod s mudi toe bus) c % ng 
games), but suggested that he 
could pass us over to Arcade's 
rterary-rype. Sam Richards. Mr 
Richards was able to shed a 

little much needed light on the 
subject of Topm Clancy. 

"He writes story books," 
Sam told us. Unfortunately, Mr 
Richards was unable to confirm 
whether Tom Clancy had 
recently written a novel called 
Rainbow Six, but when we 
asked Mr Neil West, Editor of 
this esteemed journal, we were 
told, "I think so." The mystery 
was therefore solved. And so... 

Press [enter] while playing and 
type MEGANOGGIN for huge 
head mode, or if you're running 
short of vital firepower, type in 
yourself an ammo refill. 


■ Recently re-released on budget, and reviewed in 
the last issue of Arcade. 

To get into the cheat mode, press [esc] during 
game play and then type: 











Full magic 


Full life, magic, clovers 


50 coins 


Display frame-rate 




Clover box 

Full life 
I magic 
rer box 


■ Featuring a scrawny 
little alien, sequelled by 
Abe's Exoddus, and just 
recently re-released at 
a budget price for the 
PlayStation and PC. 

■ On the PC: 

Hold [shift] on the main 
menu and press Up, Left, 
Right, Left, Right, Left, Right 
and Down to view the FMV 
sequences, and Down, Right, 
Left, Right, Left, Right, Left 
and Up to select a level. 

■ On the PlayStation, 

to select the level, hold R1 
and press Down, Right, Left, 
Right, ®, ©, ©, ®, ®, 
©.Right and Left at the 
first option screen, where 

Abe says "Hello". At the 
same place, hold R1 and 
press Up, Left, Right,©, ©, 
®, ©.Right, Left, Up, Right 
for some FMV nonsense. For 
green-air fart mines, hold R1 
and press Up, Left, Right, ©, 
© , ® during gameplay. To 
solve the voice puzzles, hold 
R1and press ®, Up, ®, 
Left, ®,Down,® 
and Right 
during the 




■ Some weapon info 


[A+C/Y] Back-wide 

for the Saturn blaster. 


Shoots a column of Vulcans 

[A] Vulcan laser 

forward and more spread 

Just like every other Vulcan. 

out in the back. 

It's pretty strong and shoots 

[A+B/Z] Homing plasma 

straight ahead. 

Locks on to two objects and 

[B] Homing shot 

fires lightning that becomes 

Weak, but does home into 

stronger. Shoots through 

enemies. Gains more points. 

walls and can take out two 

[C] Spread shot 

objects at a time. 

Shoots two lasers sideways 

[A+B+C/R] Radiant 

at an angle. It's your second 


strongest weapon. 

The strongest weapon of 

[B+C/X] Homing- 

the bunch. Short range, but 


if you stick out your sword 

Locks on to your enemies at 

to inflict max damage, you 

a certain range and then 

can destroy the medium- 

fires a weaker version of the 

sized missiles on Stage 4 

spread shot. 

and cut through pink bullets. 


■ Fuck me, I'm knackered. 

m -m- 

Never again. Well, not 


until next month at least, 

when we'll be bringing 

30 Monmouth Street, 

you a complete guide to... 

Bath BA1 2BW 

Okay. I'll come clean, 1 

haven't got the foggiest. 

Fax us on: 

01225 732375 

■ If you've got any tips 

E-mail us at: 

that we ought to know 


about, write to us at: 

January | 1999 1 Arcade 1 107 


Cyclone 30 

Fully programmable 
17 button joystick 




■ HOD 

V3 Racing Wh 

The most versatile PC 
racing wheel available / 





HBkl \ 





Best selling analogue/ 
digital pad 

PC Raider Pro 

State of the art joystick 
with ergonomic design/ 





The unique hand-held 
steering wheel 


Unique. Revolutionary. Powerful. 

Above all, InterAct products are designed to i. 
gameplay through better control. 
That's why InterAct gaming products are des : 
gamers by gamers. 

Super Accurate Control. The Best Build 
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0161 702 5010 

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Jatuary 1999 

The Ultimate 






occer 3 



:*i L^^r'il 

-Move 4 

a ndango 


jllLL>iJiL)ii ; j33l 



n's World 





January | 1999 1 Arcade j 109 

I • 


Will Crash Bandicoot ever match the 
class of Sonic and Mario? Sony hopes so. 


1 10 1 Arcade | January 1 1 999 



■ Crash Bandicoot 3's 
outstanding graphics help 
conjure up the illusion that 
you're playing a cartoon on 
TV. This is no accident. Sony 
wants Crash to appeal to as 
wide a range of gamers as 
possible - not only in the UK, 
but also in the US and Japan. 

Crash Bandicoot 3: 

■ Publisher: Sony ■ Developer: Naughty Dog 

■ Price: £39.99 ■ Release date: on sale now 

■ Players: 1 ■ Extras: Analogue controller. Dual Shock 
compatible, memory card 

Small orange Australian marsupial in third outing as 
Sony's premier platform performer. Isn't it about 
time someone gave Mario a bloody good hiding? 

Another Christmas - another Crash. What was once 
Sony proving that its 32-bit PlayStation could easily 
match the 64-bit excesses of Nintendo's Mario, has 
become an annual transfer of money from wallet to 
till. While Nintendo remains too inscrutable to update 
Mario (yet!), Crash is up to version three, already. 

Easy cash criticisms aside. Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped 
smells of real quality. Your nostrils are filled with the reek of 
superlative graphics, expertly designed levels and the stench 
of pure, unadulterated havoc and fun. Move Crash from the 
beginning of each level to its end, without dying too much. 
Repeat until end of game. It's incredible how soul satisfying 
such gameplay is. 

While Mario has a whole 
3D world to run around - 
fiddling here, dabbling there 
- Crash has his familiar U-tube 
of fun. Because of the 
PlayStation's limitations (it can 
draw things a long way away, 
just not very wide: the opposite 
is true of the N64), Crash's levels 
are long, but never more than 
two jumps across, and each is a 
winding path through exciting 
and deadly scenery. 

Just as 5on/c was concerned with 
blinding speed rather than the 
slow and steady fire-dodging 
and ass-pounding of Mario, so 
Crash is essentially a headlong dash 
into, out of, and across, the 
screen. Amusing frogs, 
medieval knights, 
scorpions and puffa 
fish all have it in for you, 
n a package thaf s the 
closest thing we've seen 
to an interactive cartoon. 

Crash 3 looks drop- 
dead gorgeous. Levete 
take in lush countryside. 

Arabic villages, sci-fi 
futuredom and, thanks to 
the new 3D levels, a stretch 
of American highway, a 
bi-plane-filled chunk of sky 
and a ride across the waves 
on a jetski. And much more. This final trio of themes offer 
Crash a little more freedom, but the gameplay channel's 
edges are never too far away. All three offer what are 
effectively driving games (only with a hairy car), but they 
make a welcome change from running and leaping. They 
also look the business. While Spyro was eminently gorgeous 
and added a vast element of 3D freedom. Crash delivers a 
tighter and more claustrophobic sensation. Baddies are 
never far away, brilliantly detailed scenery pans and swings 
into view with each pad push and, even when Crash isn't 



■ As the Crash Bandicoot series has progressed, the bad guys and level designs have 
become more complex while Crash has developed a greater freedom of movement. 

January | 1 999 1 Arcade 1 1 1 1 

tation Games 

■ If Crash's world feels similar to Spyro the Dragon's, that's 
because both games are from the Universal Interactive stable. 

running full tilt around the screen, flags are flapping, birds 
are swooping, and cows are mooing in your face. The screen 
is so full of stuff you expect it to crack and a torrent of 
rainbow-coloured, sickly sweet ooze to ruin your carpet. 
The underwater levels in particular - replete with swishing 
seaweed and assorted deadly poisons - are lush. 

This time Crash is joined by his little sister Cocoa - who, 
besides the name and, we presume, alternative genitalia - is 
effectively identical. Shame. The pair once more ride a beast 
(a tiger) in some mad-dash levels, but a further ride is added 
in the shape of a small dinosaur who trots amiably around 
under player control, rather than pelting around like its arse 
is alight. The final gameplay alteration concerns the ability 

for Crash to learn different skills, each 
one taught by a demised boss. Crash 
may then go into battle armed with such 
abilities as the super spin, double jump and 
apple bazooka. Bizarre, different and just the 
sort of thing that stops sour-faces from moaning, "It's just 
the same as the last one". 

However, Crash 3 does feature the familiar, solid 
structure, with each of five worlds sporting five levels and 
a boss. There's no originality here. Beat five levels, beat the 
boss and gain access to the next world. Beat all five bosses 
and you've done it, yes? No. A final, sixth world is then 
unveiled, and each subsequent level is unlocked by replaying 
previous levels against a very stiff clock. Only then will you 
meet the final boss. And, as if that wasn't enough, there're 
coloured gems to be garnered from various levels - 44 in 
total - in order to finish the thing properly. What this all 
results in is a game that rewards quickly with its varied levels 
and easy accessibility, but goes on to deliver a Canadian 
redwood's life of replay value - quite an achievement. 

Crash 3 is the best platformer on the PlayStation, but is it 
a Mario-beater? Maybe by the time Crash 6 comes out Jk 
on PlayStation 2... • • • • Dan Griffiths *"» 

Or you 
could try.. 

Crash Bandicoot 1 


Sony saw it and liked it so much it bought 

the company! (Kind of). A little dated now. 

Crash Bandicoot 2 

SCEE *** 

Soon to be Platinum. Good for those wBhng 

fo dip their toe in the Bandicoot pool 

<h Uppers & 
4* Downers 


■ Super-fast, 

■ The best 

■ Magnificent 
replay potential 

■ It's still no 
Mario beater 

■ Simplistic 

■ Frequently 

■ In Japan, Crash Bandicoot 
is the most successful 
Western-designed game 
character. The Japanese otaku 
love him - and previous Crash 
Bandicoot titles have eclipsed 
sales of Sonic, and even Mario. 

112 | Arcade | January 1 1999 



■ Blast the rock, fly the ship. 
Blast the rock, fly the ship. 
Blast the rock, fly the ship. 
Bla... Are we having fun yet? 


■ Publisher: Activision ■ Developer: Syrox ■ Price: £27.99 

■ Release date: on sale now ■ Players: 1-2 

The jury's out. Retrogaming: welcome return of The 
Proper Videogame or a rather shameless cash-in on 
thirtysomething nostalgia? Asteroids, please take 
your place in the dock... 

Df course, it was all so much simpler back then. All you 
needed was a spaceship, some spacerocks, et voila - 
Asteroids, a game that, alongside Space Invaders, 
Defender and Pac-Man, defined the '80s arcade 
phenomena and emptied the pockets of glassy-eyed 
teenagers the planet-wide. Today, it might not sound 
that impressive, but with a disarmingly simple concept (fly 
ship, shoot rock, repeat to fade), minimal vector graphics 
and a brooding soundtrack. Asteroids managed to make 
Atari over $150 million. Your move, Tekken. 

Twenty years further on and Activision has bought the 
rights and given Asteroids a 3D overhaul. Well, 3D-ish. While 
the game now sports polygons rather than vector lines, it 
still works on a 2D plane. Indeed, almost everything from 
the original has survived - the last ditch escape offered by 
Hyperspace, the thrust-and-inertia-based movement and, 
of course, the requirement to clear the screen of nasty 
boulders intent on smashing your ship to spacebits. 

So, what's new? Lots. Asteroids' graphics have been 
bolstered with retina-scorching SFX and FMV sequences, 
while your ship is no longer a tiny triangle. Each armed 


differently, there are four ships now on offer, while you can 
also pick up a selection of R-7ype-style power-ups for the 
ensuing battle, including mines, gun satellites and the 
ominous-sounding Armageddon; a rather handy purple 
power-ring that zaps absolutely anything and everything 
to smithereens. You'll need these, as Asteroids is now split 
into distinct "zones", where you'll have to get the better of 
black holes, flaming suns and even end-level-style bosses to 
progress. If that's not 
enough, the asteroids 
themselves also come in a 
crystal variant that swiftly 
regenerate unless you blast 
them to nothingness. It 
makes for varied gameplay 
and, as the pace ups to frantic levels, boasts a smoother 
learning curve than the original. 

But, as with Irem's forthcoming update of R-Type, no 
amount of polygonal jiggerypokery can disguise the fact 
that Asteroids is still very much Asteroids: it's still inherently 
repetitive, it's still a basic premise and it's still as addictive as 
fuck. Whether this is because developer Syrox has remained 
faithful to the original, or because it's just bolted on a few 
whistles and bells, is pointless to debate. The fact is that 
while Asteroids almost proudly lacks the sophistication of 
today's strategy-oriented space-shooters, it's still an arcade 
buzz of galactic proportions. 20 years ago, that would cost 
10p of your dinner money. Today, it's around 25 quid. JK 

Your move, space cadet. • • • Mike Goldsmith **• 

Or you 
could try 


Virgin Interactive **** 

2D arcade blasting at its most sublime. 

Test Drive Off Road 


Trucks and, urn- rocks. 

/ |j Uppers & 
v Downers 

Old skool 

■ Bags of hep 
retro appeal 

■ Contains a 
version of the 
original game 

■ It's Asteroids*. 
New fool 

■ Is this retro or 

■ Very repetitive 

■ It's still only 

January | 1 999 1 Arcade 1 1 13 

tation Games 



SII if" 

■ Libero Grande offers a 
whole new perspective. 

; World Leagi 
hides behind a big name. Or 

1 14 1 Arcade | January | 1 999 

This is a new reviewing style for 
Arcade - the giant-sized Group 
Test. But when a quartet 
of major new PlayStation 
football games arrive all at 
once, what else are we 
meant to do? So join us, 
as all four new boys test 
their footballing mettle 
in the ultimate head- 
to-head. It'll be just like 
Match of the Day. 

As all good football managers know, 
the season doesn't start until after 
Christmas. But with console football 
games, the pre-Christmas period is 
all-too-important. It's when all us 
armchair Adamses and sofa Southgates 
look forward to long Christmas holidays sat in 
front of the telly. And I'm not talking about 
watching The Sound of Music. Yes, the 
Christmas holiday week is 

the World Cup of * ^ 

^^^ the videogame 
^^ footy world, 
explains why 
we've suddenly got four big new 
football titles, all raring to go. 

The question is, of course, which 
should you buy? Which is going to 
offer both an entertaining, easy-to- 
pick-up game and the depth to 
last you a full season? Which is 
best for beginners and which is 
best for the seasoned pro? We 
could be about to see a real 
upset. After all, anything can 
happen in football... 

■ BAs FIFA 99 
employs the non- 
flying Dutchman 
to appear in its 
lush introduction. 
And no, there's 
no "Nude Raider" 
cheat. Thank God. 

The line up 

Three of these games have 
histories - World League 
Soccer '99, Actua Soccer 3 and, 
particularly, FIFA 99 - while 1998/99 is the debut season for 
Namco's Libero Grande. Last year saw the domination of an 
earlier FIFA game, but World League Soccer '98 came close 


to knocking it aside. Now is its chance for a second tilt at 
the title, this time adding the considerable extra firepower 
of endorsement by England's Great Hope™, Michael Owen. 
So is the new FIFA 99 up to the challenge, especially with 
Actua Soccer 3 rightly also fancying its chances? 

FIFA, as always, has all the sheen: Fatboy Slim on the 
soundtrack, gleaming FMV intros, guided tours of the 
game's stadiums, half the world's best footballers endorsing 
its various menus - Bergkamp and Vieri included - and, of 
course, the official FIFA license. But, naturally, none of that 
really matters. Except the license, I suppose, which is handy 
to have, especially as FIFA can happily call its qualifying 
tournament the European Qualifiers rather than World 
League Soccer's rather less specific "Cup" and "League". 
Thankfully - and rather oddly - the lack of a FIFA license 
hasn't prevented Actua and WLS from including real 
players' names. Unlike ISS Pro '98, say, which felt 
compelled to do things like replace "Southgate" with 

It looks great, but can 
FIFA 99 keep your interest 
for the whole season? 

FIFA 99 

■ Publisher: EA Sports ■ Developer: EA Sports ■ Price: 
£39.99 ■ Release date: On sale now ■ Players: 1-2 

As a series, it's been around longer than Chris 
Waddle. So can the best-selling FIFA still cut it? 

■ No one handles in-game 
animations and fancy frilling 
as well as EA Sports. 

FIFA '99 is much like FIFA has always been: it's 
probably the fastest football game of them all, with 
play swinging from one end to the other without 
breaking a sweat. And, because of that, it's simplistic 
to play but attractive - at least to begin with. 
Where the game pulls up with a dodgy 
hamstring is in its long-term challenge. Or, rather, lack of it. 
There are enough moves but, once you discover that the 
"sprint" is fast enough to take you past most opposition 


point in trying anything 

else. So you don't. This results in 7-0 trouncings of Brazil 
and an unsatisfyingly easy World Cup win. And is there 
any fun in that? 

Perhaps FIFA 99 is most suited to beginners, players 
who don't want to try that hard, or those who find the 
technical prowess of ISS Pro '98 a bit of a drag. Certainly, 
you won't find an easier football game than this. You can 
make use of the other moves in the FIFA inventory, of 
course, but, if all else fails, there's always that sure-fire 
"diagonal" goal. The problem with that, of course, is that 
we feel it defeats the whole object of football games. 
You're not prompted to dig deep (or, indeed, give it a 
hundred and ten percent), and so you'll never discover the 
watery-eyed wonder of a seven-man move topped off 
with a first-time volley on the half turn. FIFA 99, then - 
easy, good enough, but never fulf iling. 

'fj Uppers & 
♦ Downers 


■ Fast end-to-end stuff 

■ Easy to play, easy to master 

■ Slick presentation 

■ Big name commentary 

Boa Morte 

■ Same goal every time 

■ Speed-up too effective 

■ Obvious lack of any depth 

■ Stifl doesn't feel like it's 
made by people who really 
care about football. In fact, 
you can almost tell they call it 
"soccer" instead 


January | 1999 1 Arcade 1 115 



e-T« I • 


* « 


--— , NUHtt 





*i9 • 

■ "You shoot! You score! 
You defend! You get sent 
off! Um, it doesn't matter! 
You shoot again!" You only 
control one player in Libero 
Grande, so it's all up to you. 

Libera Grande 

■ Publisher: Sony ■ Developer: Namco ■ Price: £39.99 

■ Release date: on sale now ■ Players: 1-2 

From the developers of Tekken 3 comes a new 
experience in football games... 


ibero Grande is entirely original. It's the only football 
game in the world where you can choose an 
international superstar from a list of 12 and then 
control him - and only him - for a full 90 minutes. 
This originality is commendable. 

The fact that the game doesn't really work, then, 
is a bit of a disappointment on the Andy Cole Scale of 
Disappointments™. The reason is simple: there's just not 
enough for the player to do. You chase around after the 
play, trying to grab the ball for yourself and then, when 

you finally get it, realise 


Damn. For at least 90% of 
the time, then, you don't actually have the ball. 

Strangely, this isn't even the most frustrating part of 
the game. Instead, it's having to rely on the computer 
opponents who behave, for the most part, like Shamblers 
from Quake. In the penalty box, they just run forward 
until the opposition goalie dives at their feet; and, if 
you're running with the ball, they'll chase after you for 
no apparent reason. It would be refreshing to see them 
try to cross, or slide the ball across the box to you. As it is, 
whenever you get the ball you're loathe to give it back, 
because they'll just mess it up. And, surely, that's not how 
a football game should be. 

Libero Grand is a brave attempt at introducing 
something new, then, but ultimately the attempt fails. 

*|j Uppers & 
4* Downers 


■ Original, interesting idea 

■ Pleasant visuals 

■ Quirky two-player split- 
screen mode 


■ Too much running around 
doing nothing 

■ Unrealistic, with strikers 
having to defend 

■ Desperately stupid 
computer team mates 

■ Lack of goal-scoring variety 

the lawsuit-friendly (and, indeed, cockney-friendly) version 
"Sathgate." It may not sound like much of a big difference, 
but it does help build a sense of realism. 

Kicking off 

FIFA is probably the easiest game to get into, mainly 
because you can guarantee a win using just two buttons. 
Vigorously tap Sprint, head out to the wings, get past the 
last defender, then veer diagonally into the area and press 
Shoot. Not very satisfying, admittedly, but handy if you lack 
patience. Or ability. Or both. 

WLS '99 is the opposite. To stand the remotest chance of 
beating computer opposition - which, even at the back- 
end of world football, is packed with brilliant players - you 
need to learn every move and relentlessly pursue a passing 
game. Which leaves you far more content than the all-too- 
brief FIFA experience. Okay, so it requires a little more work 
but, if you stick at it, it quickly becomes a fantastic example 
of how to use the complete football arsenal: passing, 
crossing, running, dribbling, shooting, and scoring. 

Actua Soccer 3 is somewhere between FIFA and WLS '99. 
It's easier to win, even for a beginner. This said, scoring truly 
spectacular, or even just pleasing, goals requires more work. 
Actua is simpler than WLS because it doesn't have as many 
moves. But at the same time, you won't be running your 
computer opponents ragged from the moment you start, 
as there aren't many "sweet spots" - places where you can 
score from every time. 

Which just leaves Libero Grande, undoubtedly the 
hardest game to get a feel for, simply because you have to 


get used to the fact that, for large portions of a 
match, you won't be doing anything; just legging it 
around after the rest of the players in the hope that, 
sooner or later, they might thread a pass through to 
you. Or, at least, attempt to. 

Passing the ball around 

And this is why Libero Grande starts and finishes 

firmly in 

fourth _^?t 

place. As 


football games 

require you to pass the 

ball a lot, the players in your 

team don't have hold of the ball for long. 

This becomes all too apparent when you 

play Libero Grande. If you have the ball for 

longer than two or three seconds, you 

could consider it a jinking run of Giggs- 

like proportions. To inject some 

excitement into the game, you have to 

chase the ball, which isn't realistic or 

exciting. Ginola pelting it from one 

end of the pitch to the other and 

attempting to slide tackle on the 

edge of his own area? Hmm. Not 

very likely, eh? 

FIFA's passing game, when you 
decide to play it, isn't too bad. But 
the pitch sometimes appears to be 
a bit "gluey" and the ball slows up 
before it reaches the intended 
target. And you have to physically 
select the player you want to pass it 
to, so, unlike ISS Pro '98, your passes 

■ Yes, you can "be" 
Argentine striker 
Gabriel Batistuta. 

116 1 Arcade | January 1 1999 

won't always find another 
member of your team: 
they often find very 
large spaces and are 
soon swept up by 
the opposition. 

WLS and Actua 
Soccer are the strongest 
in this department. The 
"viewing" area in Actua 
Soccer's pitch is a perfect 
size, so there'll always be a 
player you can see to pass the 
ball to. And the passing is nice 
and fast and crisp. You pass 
and it usually gets there. 

WLS is even better. The 
controls are beautifully 
responsive - you press Pass 
and it does it straight away, 
unlike FIFA where the players 
have to finish off their 
animation before they can be 
bothered to do anything. 
And there's always a player in 
front of you, so when you try 
through balls and long punts, one 
of your guys is there to try and link 
up play. This makes WLS an attractive 
game of football, perhaps even as 
good as ISS Pro '98. 

Go for goals 

Scoring in all four games requires 

different levels of dedication, but the 

best goals consistently crop up 

in Actua and WLS. Actua, in ^^ 

particular, is the home of 

spectacular finishing, 

with a shouty Barry I g^ 

Davies carrying on like 

Alan Partridge (without 

any of the "Twat! Did you 

see that?!", obviously). Curling 

the ball in Actua - by applying 
aftertouch - is as easy as passing and, once 
you've launched a goalward effort, you can 
swing the ball away from the 'keeper into the 
corners of the goal for a real Beckham-style finish. 
It's lovely stuff. 
WLS doesn't have the eye-blinding finishing, but it 
does have countless ways to score: diving headers, looping 
headers, volleys, half-volleys, chips, piledrivers, curlers - all 
perfectly easy to decipher from one another. Some require 
button combos - in association with R1 and R2 - but pull ■ 
them off, and you'll realise why WLS is the best PlayStation 
football game ever, besides ISS Pro '98. The diversity is 
incredible. And, because the game's hard, you know you've 
achieved something when you watch a free kick bend into 
the top corner, or a volley tear into the old onion bag. 

"Did you see thatM" 

There are those people who say that, essentially, games 
today are no better than games of ten years ago. This is 
quite clearly rubbish. And for unequivocable proof that 
these people are talking Jimmy Hill, I point to the inclusion 
of real-time commentary from real-life commentators in 
today's games. It's great - and only recently made possible. 
The commentary in each game reflects the standard of 
each title perfectly: Libero Grande has no commentary at 
all; FIFA has John Motson, a bizarrely high-pitched Mark 
Lawrenson (obviously following a nasty industrial accident), 
and a monotone Gary Lineker, who's patently holding out 

You won't score more spectacular goals 
than when you're wearing a virtual 
Actua Soccer 3 jersey. But is this enough? 

Gremlin's Actua Soccer games have always been a 
gloriously fluid experience. Passes are strung 
together with ease. Counter attack follows counter 
attack. Goals are scored from every angle - and 
what goals they are! They're definitely the most 
spectacular of the bunch. With aftertouch so easy 
to apply, watching replays to the accompaniment of Barry 
Davies is a bit special. 

This third installment of 
the series offers more of 
the same. There are slight 
tweaks here and there but 
nothing too prominent. It's Actua as Actua always is: 
perfectly playable, never too taxing, but capable of special 
goals and created by people who love the game to death. 
You can tell. Play can be spread with long balls, or started 
from your own penalty area with a series of short passes. 
You can score lots of goals, but none of them will be too 
easy. There's no simple way to slot one home like in FIFA 
99. And when the passing and shooting is as confident, 
precise and varied as this, why would you want to? 

If there's one fault, it's that there's not enough to 
discover. There's not the sheer weight of extra moves like 
there is in ISS Pro '98 or World League Soccer. Which 
means play often feels boxed-in. As if, once you've 
reached a certain standard in the game, you simply can't 
go any further. This is a shame, because otherwise it's a 
consistently pleasing football game. 


'Ij Uppers & 
4* Downers 

Barry Davies 

■ The home of the world's 
most stunning goals 

■ Crisp passing that - shock! 
- reacts to the surfaces 

■ "Big" Bazza Davies' expert 

■ Top replays nicked straight 
from Sky TV 

Barry Bethel 

■ Lack of moves means 
possible lack of longevity 

■ Animation, in places, is a bit 
crap, to be honest 


January | 1999 | Arcade 1 117 


tation Games 

Michael Owen's 
World League 
Soccer ' 98" 

Publisher: Eidos I 
I Price: £39.99 I 
I Players:1-2 

I Developer: Silicon Dreams 
Release date: on sale now 

And so the final contender enters the fray. 
It's got a nice big picture of the Wonder 
Boy™ Owen on the box, so it's got to be 
- pretty incredible, right? 

Dkay, let's get the bad bits out of the 
way first: WIS '99 looks average. The 
presentation is f righteningly poor, while 
you can only presume the motion-capture 
for the animation was created at a 
retirement village. The players appear to 
"skate" across the surfaces, and when they trip they 
look like they're about to collapse with heart seizure. 
Apart from these obvious visual hindrances, 
however, World League Soccer '99 - 
y Michael Owen or not - plays a blinder. 
^~ \ J^ What's most staggering is the sheer 
\'^/ / amount of things to learn. Besides ISS 
Pro '98, there's never been a game that's 


grasped the intricacies of football so well: the back post 
header is as much at home in WLS '99 as the half-volley, 
while there's just as much chance to shimmy past 
opponents as there is to launch a pin-point 40-yard pass. 
Press and hold R1 or R2 and an action button and you 
access a whole new inventory too. These combos provide 
the most of the sexy stuff - the nutmegs and overhead 
kicks, the stooping headers and volleys. 

And the game never lets you score simply. You've got 
to earn the right to bury one from 12 yards. And that 
means you've got to use every part of the game to outfox 
opponents. Just as you should have to. Professional football 
isn't easy (just ask anyone from Southampton) so why 
should console football be? And World League Soccer '99 
is as close to the real thing as you'll ever get. 

for the pay check; Actua has the otherwise brilliant Barry 
Davies, occasionally chopped off half way through a 
sentence; and WLS '99 has Peter Brackley and Ray Wilkins. 
Not the most flashy pairing maybe, but their commentary 
is superb, free of repeats and it flows astonishingly well 
throughout the game. Which sums up WLS '99: not the 
biggest name, but far and away the best of the bunch. 

At the end of the day 

So where does all this leave us? Libero Grande was never 
going to be a serious contender, and is clearly the Blackburn 
Rovers of the group. Actua Soccer 3 is still extremely good, 
but not quite the name it once was. The battle was always 
going to be between the other two games and, while FIFA 
99 has all the style, World League Soccer '99 has all the 
substance. It's made by football fans for football fans. Just 
like Michael Owen, it's refreshing, exciting and abundantly 
gifted. Get it in. Tim Weaver 

So which of our four new PlayStation games goes home with three points? 

FIFA 99 

Libero Grande 

Actua Soccer 3 

WLS '99 

■ Teams 

(number available) 

• •••• (293) 

• (32) 

• ••• (184) 

*** (144) 

■ Choice of leagues 

(number available) 

• •••• (12) 


• •• (8) 

• •••(9) 

Goal scoring 

• • 


• •••• 

• ••• 


• •• 

• • 

• ••• 

• •••• 

■ Moves 

• ••• 

• • 

• •• 

• *••• 

■ Overall 

• •• 

• • 

• ••• 

• •••• 



■ The likes of 
Mario might get 
all the glory, but 
Bub 'n' Bob are 
actually right up 
there with the 
most successful 
game characters 
of all time. The 
campaign for 
starts now! 

Bust-A-Move 4 

■ Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment 

■ Developer: Taito ■ Price: £39.99 

■ Release date: January ■ Players: 1-2 

Extension of the puzzling series which 
provides further chances to eschew 
sleep in favour of bursting bubbles. 

| win brothers Bubblen and Bobblen hail 
from the planet BubbleLuna, a happy 
and peaceful place. Or it was, until the Fairy of 
the Night - under instruction from Madame Full 

TMoon - stole their rainbow light source. Bub and 
Bob have vowed to retrieve their rainbow, but 
knowing what little trouble-seekers they are, Madame 
Luna has split the light source into seven coloured bubbles 
and sent them flying to different corners of the universe. 

And you thought Bust-A-Move, a brilliantly 
simple puzzle game dubbed the upside- 
down Tetris, didn't have a plot. In fact, 
there's a complex back story, stretching 
through previous Bust-A-Moves and 
older classics like Rainbow Islands and 
the original Bubble Bobble, all starring 
teeny dinosaur twins Bub 'n' Bob 
(though they were small boys in Rainbow 
Islands, for reasons that escape me now), and all of them 
ludicrously addictive. All you need know for now, though, 
is that those bubbles need bursting - and quick. 

Essentially, Bust-A-Move 4 is the same as Bust-A-Moves 
1, 2 and 3. Fire your bubble-cannon at a mass of bubbles 
attached to the ceiling of your 2D environment and when 
three of the same colour are connected, they will pop and 
fall to the floor, bringing any stragglers with them. The 
aim is to rid the screen of bubbly presence, although the 
mass will slowly advance, Space /waders-style, towards 
the ground. If the mass reaches the floor, you've blown it. 
The two-player split-screen mode is doubly vicious as your 
success is mirrored by bubble 
build-up on your opponent's side. 
Rack up a combo by making use 
of the all-new bubble-link feature 
and your mate's screen lathers, 
provoking language as colourful 
as the bubbles themselves. 

Clearly Bust-A-Move 4 isn't 
really worth buying if you own 
one of its predecessors, but the 
latest incarnation is certainly an 
improvement as far as colour and game options go. If 
you choose the story mode and join Bubblen and 
Bobblen in their quest for the lost rainbow, you'll 
encounter a few new variations on the theme, 
including balanced pulleys and bubbles with 
unusual properties. You also have a choice of 
f eight manic characters, each with their own 
ridiculous celebration chant, including Grrr the 
sunbathing baby, TamTam the warrior and G, an 
old man who's fond of tea. It's simple and silly, but 
Bust-A-Move 4 is ultimately more enjoyable and enduring 
than all those po-faced adventure games we're currently 
suffering. Viva BubbleLuna. • • • * * Sam Richards 

'f Uppers & 
J' Downers 


■ Easy to pick up, impossible 
to put down 

■ Smart variations on the 
bubble-bursting theme 

■ Hilarious new characters 
with their own personalities 
and battle cries 

■ Not entirely dissimilar to 
previous Bust-A-Move efforts 


■ Publisher: Acclaim 
Entertainment ■ Developer: 
System 3 ■ Price: £39.99 

■ Release date: on sale now 

■ Players: 1 ■ Extras: Mouse, 
memory card (free with 

The PlayStation comes over 
all Auf Wiedersehen Pet. 
Fortunately Geordies with 
bent noses and dubious 
solo albums appear absent. 

"Oooh, don't like the look of that 
guv, gonna need a coupla extra 
bodies on this, you're talking a 
monkey at least." Such goes the 
battle cry of the unscrupulous 
builder. A schiester. A cowboy. 
Call 'em what you will, theirs is 
a life of dirty dealing, upped 
prices and knock-off materials. 
It's always been a dangerous 
world to dabble in. Until now. 
Constructor drops you right 
into this bricks-and-mortar world 
and lets you go, very much, to 
town. Your job is to build yourself 
an empire. But where Constructor 
differs from previous titles of this 
nature (such as the great Sim City) 
is that this sortie into settlements 
is more personal. Mob members, 
hippies, psychopaths, rival workers 
- the list of folk you'll have to deal 
with is long and unpleasant. But 
it's your job to keep the problems 
caused by these reprobates to a 
minimum. When it suits you. 

You first churn out wooden 
houses. Then begins the battle 
to shuffle your dudes, equipment, 
factories and the like to create 
better abodes for your tenants. 
Tenants provide money, which 
assists growth. Cheaper housing, 
though, attracts cheap types, who 
bring trouble. More money means 
better houses which attract the 
cream of society. Then you've 
got to consider breeding tenants, 
dogs, violent residents, a police 
force, hospitals - it's a nightmare. 
Graphically Constructor is fun, 
but very standard. Aurally it's not 
exactly spin-off CD material. But 
these are irrelevancies. The play of 
the title, and its complexities, are 
the things that will drag you back 
time and time again. It's a deep, 
involving game, in a vibrant, fun 
package. And getting "stung" 
while you're playing this is a lot 
less painful than in the real world... 
**** Stephen Pierce 

Or you 
could try.. 

Bust-A-Move 2 
Acdaim Entertainment ***** 
An earlier, scruffier version, but at a 
budget prke, you can't argue. 

Super Puzzle Fighter 2 

Virgin ***** 

Street Fighter kids involved in puzzle-til- 

you-drop malarkey. 

January] 1999 | Arcade 1 119 



Small Soldiers 

■ Publisher: Electronic Arts 

■ Developer: Dreamworks 

■ Price: £39.99 ■ Release date: 
on sale now ■ Players: 1-2 

■ Extras: Memory card. 
Dual Shock 

These particular soldiers are 
as blessed in entertainment 
value as they are in stature. 

■ First there was Small Soldiers 
the film, which you may or may 
not have seen. It doesn't matter. 
Why? Because for some strange 
reason the back-story of Small 
Soldiers, the game, has virtually 
nothing to do with the plot of 
the movie. All that the two have 
in common are the titular wee 
warriors and their enemies, the 
equally dwarfish Gorgonites. 

In the one-player game you 
play Archer, the troll-like leader of 
the repulsive Gorgonites (in case 
you were in the dark, the more 
human-looking action figures are 
actually the baddies). The game is 
mostly running about, exploring, 
collecting colourful objects and 
mowing down Small Soldiers in 
3D, and in the opening levels this 
is a surprisingly effective formula. 
Set in grimy, foreboding caves, 
your character is reasonably well 
animated; he responds accurately 
to your commands and develops 
an easily accessible armoury. So 
far, so good. The problem is, that's 
more or less your lot. Each level 
demands the same procedure. 
Find the coloured thing, take it to 
the stone thing and get the key 
thing. Repeat til fade. 

There are some lovely graphics 
- when Archer is tossed skyward 
by blue fizzing gas the camera 
follows his undulations perfectly. 
The problem is that, ultimately, 
the things Small Soldiers demands 
from you are far too familiar and 
formulaic. It's the same old, same 
old, with just a tad more same old 
stapled on for good measure. 

There's a deathmatch affair 
thrown into the mix, too, but here, 
also, Small Soldiers disappoints. 
Yes, these men are supposed to 
be tiny, but do they have to be 
quite so damn miniature? It soon 
becomes obvious how arbitrary 
the likelihood of bumping into 
your foe is. And when you do 
finally run into them, the whole 
scene dissolves into a face-off 
with both players hammering 
fire until one drops. 

Initially this looked like a title 
to break the run of predictable 
movie tie-in games. But no, this is 
as bad as the rest. Perhaps worse, 
for the basic concept (with its size 
theme and colourful characters) 
had so much obvious potential. 
• • Stephen Pierce 

■ Welcome to the end of the world. Squint 
hard and you might just see Bruce Willis. 



■ft Uppers & 
H' Downers 


■ Provides lots of challenge 

■ Well paced 

■ Good learning curve 

■ Bruce Willis... 
End of the world 

■ ... for a few seconds 

■ Very confusing controls 
and a tricky camera 

■ It's moody alright, 
but the camera causes 
a lot of confusion. 


■ Publisher: Activision ■ Developer: 
Neversoft ■ Price: £39.99 ■ Release date: on 
sale now ■ Players: 1 ■ Extras: Memory card 

Bruce Willis has been moonlighting for 
Activision. But is this platform shooter 
a case of Die Hard - or try harder? 

Activision's futuristic platform shoot-'em- 
up Apocalypse, will no doubt command 
much attention, for the notable reason 
that it contains the voice of Bruce Willis. 
But then so did Look Who's Talking Too. 
Predictably Willis takes the part of a 
gobby renegade. You play him as Trey Kincaide, 
out to save the world from the four horsemen 
of the Apocalypse - Death, War, Plague and 
Beast (not the line-up we remember, but there 
you go). His videogame experiences, though 
limited, extend to some motion capture work 
and a bunch of voice sampling. Indeed, once 
past the excellent FMV intro, it's easy to forget 
that Willis is involved at all, for this is largely a 
sprite-style romp, with rendered backgrounds 
that take you through sewers, prisons and 
other suitably dark locations. If you do spot 
the Willis mug pasted onto your character, it 
has the eerie comic feel of a Vic and Bob gag 
involving cardboard faces stuck on at skewed 
angles. As for the voice-overs, the clever-dick 
quips soon become annoying. Hearing, "These 
guys need a little more lead in their diet", can 
be wearing after the 27th time, especially 
when you're using a flame-thrower. 

So surely with the Willis role shot down in 
flames, the game must be dead in the water? 
Actually no, because developer Neversoft has 
taken the trouble to come up with a sound 
gameplay f ramewore. Apocalypse is very like 
Loaded, and though more linear than Gremlin's 
bloodfest it's more engaging and challenging 
too. Think Tunnel B1 meets Fade to Black meets 
Crash Bandicoot, or Pandemonium with guns. 

Playing across huge levels (with plenty of 
restart points and power ups), you blast your 
way through progressively harder scenarios. 
There are tasks to perform, but these are as 
simple as flicking switches or killing enemies. 
Nevertheless, a relentless pace keeps you 
interested, and a good learning curve keeps 
you coming back for more. 

Where the game becomes exasperating is 
in its control system. Mostly you push forward 
for Bruce to run forward; at times, though, the 
camera switches around and now you have to 
push, say, down-and-left to go the same way. 
It forces you to change your mind set, and risks 
losing the intuitive feel you've built up. And 
though you can run out of the screen to shoot 
enemies you've missed, you can't actually see 
them when you do so. Such limiting controls 
seem linked to the fact that the camera angles 
change automatically as you play. It makes the 
whole thing difficult more out of defects than 
gameplay intentions - a real shame. 

We wouldn't suggest you definitely buy 
Apocalypse, but a sequel could be interesting. 
If Activision tries harder. • • • Rob Pegley 

Or you 
could try 


Gremlin Interactive * * 

Now out on Platinum, this sees you heading round simplistic mazes 

but it comes with a lack of variety that limits its long-term payability. 

120 | Arcade | January | 1999 


'f Uppers & 
4' Downers 

Floats like a butterfly 

■ Tactics and violence 

■ Realism a-go-go 

■ Muhammad Ali! 

Floats like a buffalo 

■ Not for beat-'em-up fans 

■ Sluggish slugging 

■ Few British fighters 

■ From reach to 
weight to stamina, 
every detail of the 
world's greatest 
fighters is brought 
to Knockout Kings. 

Knockout Kings 

■ Publisher: Electronic Arts ■ Developer: Electronic 
Arts ■ Price: £39.99 ■ Release date: out now 

■ Players: 1-2 

Following hot in the boot prints of FIFA 99, EA 
Sports swaps shorts for trunks and takes on the 
noble bloodbath that is boxing. Round One... 

For some, boxing is a exquisite dance of passion 
and fury. It's Norman Mailer. It's The Thriller In 
Manilla. It's sport at its most inherently and 
excitingly primal. For others, it's two fat 
bastards trying to batter seven 
shades of shit out of each other. 
Which corner you choose to fight 
from is up to you, but matched 
against the likes of Tekken or Quake, 
boxing is the videogame equivalent of 
a poetry slam between your mum and 
the ugly girl out of Placebo. 

Just as well, then, that Knockout Kings 
is no beat-'em-up. Yup, there're cuts. 

bruises and the inevitable dollop 
of blood, but if you're looking for 
combo-happy ultraviolence, then 
you'd best shop elsewhere. See, 
Knockout Kings is a boxing sim - 
you're going to have to think 
before you punch. A flurry of jabs 
and uppercuts might sound like 
the best way to get a knockout, 
but as each punch wanes in effectiveness (your Power 
Meter temporarily decreases after each one) and your 
opponent lands telling jabs, you'll soon find yourself on 
the wrong side of a mandatory eight count 

Thus it's as vital to block and clinch as it is to throw 
haymakers. It's not so important in the Slugfest option 
(three rounds, illegal blows, much pain), but in Exhibition 
mode, stamina is all. You get ten rounds of ultra-realistic 
pugilism, and it's here that EA has excelled itself. Boasting 
motion-captured animation and smooth gourard-shading, 
there're 38 fighters to choose from. Evander Holyf ield, 
Roberto Duran, Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali are all 
up for grabs and it's even possible to recreate legendary 
bouts between Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard. 
Reach, weight and endurance are all faithfully recreated, 
and as Round Nine approaches and your deft footwork 
has reserved enough stamina to plant a jaw-crumbling 
uppercut, it's this mode you'll return to every time. 

For the more aspirationally minded, Knockout Kings' 
Career mode enables you to build your own uber-f ighter 
- cue humourous facial hair and neon trunks - and claw 
your way through the ranks from chump to champ. That 
means both training and meeting increasingly-tougher 
opponents (and plenty of Memory Card action), but with 
the prospect of fighting Muhammad Ali in a virtual 
Madison Square Gardens, the rewards are obvious and 
give Knockout Kings the depth and longevity required to 
bolster its more basic appeal. 

Tactics, thrills plus a Dual Force compatibility 
that will have you rumbling in the jungle of 
your living room - Knockout Kings is the most 
realistic representation of boxing to hit the PSX 
yet. Granted, no videogame could ever capture 
the epiphany that is being hit in the 
face by a homicidal maniac, but if 
this step into the ring is anything to 
go by, expect EA to develop a VR 
body suit for the release of Kings 2. 
After you with the Deep Heat. 
• • • • Mike Goldsmith 

Victory Boxing 2 

Tekken 3 


Who needs uppercuts when you can have 

Megaton Punches and Hands of Doom? 

All Star Tennis '99 

■ Publisher: Ubisoft 

■ Developer: Smart Dog 

■ Price: £39.99 ■ Release date: 
on sale now ■ Players: 1-4 

Packed with sweat bands 
and disturbing grunts, 
PlayStation gamers have 
finally been served the real 
thing. You can forget all 
about Smash Court. 

■ Sports sims on the PlayStation. 
You think football, you think ice 
hockey, you think basketball. You 
don't think tennis. And yet one of 
the most addictive PlayStation 
games of all was Smash Court 
Tennis. Notice the "was" - with 
Sony's decision to discontinue 
PlayStation's answer to the SNES' 
wonderful Super Tennis, there's a 
gap in the market for another 
(hem hem) "smashing" tennis sim. 

All Star Tennis '99 is hardly a 
Smash Court clone though, as 
Ubisoft has been at great pains 
to make its game much more 
realistic The real-life likes of Mark 
Philippoussis and Michael Chang 
are among eight tennis pros who 
strut their polygonal stuff. 

The array of shots you can pull 
off is satisfyingly true to life, the 
action is fast and, importantly, you 
can win points through good shot 
selection rather than just relying 
on the errors of your opponents. 
It's very surprising how often the 
reverse is true in tennis sims. 

In fact, it's enough to make All 
Star Tennis '99 the best PSX tennis 
sim around. Sadly, considering the 
competition, that's not saying 
much, and it still falls well short of 
being a genuine classic. Hitting the 
ball as wide as you can causes all 
sorts of problems, for a start - the 
camera angle isn't wide enough 
to show where it's going, so that 
you're forced into running as far 
as you can to the left or right in 
the hope that you'll hit the ball. 

It's a good job that the nature 
of tennis games means that they 
work better as a two-player, or 
even four-player, experience, too. 
The one-player mode just pits you 
against some impossibly difficult- 
to-beat computer characters and 
swiftly becomes irritating rather 
than challenging. 

Still, if you like playing tennis 
on the PSX, this is the place to be. 
Irritation and lack of atmosphere 
are more than outweighed by the 
realistic gameplay and beautifully 
smooth presentation, while the 
entertaining "bomb" tennis mode 
(where a mine is laid every time 
the ball bounces) is a laugh-and-a- 
half, and completely unexpected. 
Smash Court may be dead, but its 
weird and wonderful legacy 
clearly lives on. • • • Ben East 

January | 1 999 | Arcade 1 121 

tation Games 

NBA Live 99 

■ Publisher: EA Sports 

■ Developer: EA Sports 

■ Price: £39.99 ■ Release date: 
on sale now ■ Players: 1-8 
(with multi-tap) 

The latest and greatest NBA 
game, catering equally for 
the slam-dunk statto and 
the alley-oop ignoramus. 

You've floored an opponent, 
wrestled the ball from his sweaty 
hands and are advancing towards 
the basket. A reverse dribble and 
you're past the defender, leaping 
five feet into the air and slamming 
the ball defiantly through the 
hoop. "That's a monster jam!" 
screams the commentator, as 
you salute the crowd. This isn't 
basketball as we know it. No, this 
is NBA Live 99's no rules observed 
(of physics or otherwise) Arcade 
Mode, enjoyable even if you find 
the sport itself deathly tedious. 

Of course, you can always 
trust EA Sports to put on a show 
and NBA Live 99's presentation is 
impeccable. Using the very latest 
motion capture technology (with 
model provided by Boston Celtics' 
Antoine Walker) means that the 
players, although still a little blocky, 
move more smoothly than ever 
before and all their warm-up and 
celebration moves are realistic. 
Close-up camera angles also 
reveal the players' gurning faces 
as they strain to block shots or 
layup for the basket. 

Basketball purists horrified 
by the crazy Arcade mode should 
be appeased by the Simulation 
mode, replete with a staggering 
number of tactical set plays. These 
are all explained on a moving 
blackboard and can be actioned 
or changed at any time. Guide 
your chosen team through not 
just one season, but a decade of 
play, making all the selection and 
transfer decisions in the manner 
of a simplified management sim. 
And if you're a statto geek, you'll 
be steaming in ecstasy when you 
realise the detail in which every 
damn player from the 29 NBA 
teams has been catalogued. 

NBA Live 99 is also home 
to the funniest player creation 
option around. Assemble your 
own stats for a rookie player, 
condemn him to a life with a 
mullet and grey pointy sideburns, 
and then watch him as he rises 
like the sun up the rankings. 

Back on the Arcade mode 
court, fun with your alley-oops, 
reverse layups and downtown 
threes is immediate but enduring. 
You can even imagine Dennis 
Rodman abandoning his drink to 
come play. •*** ChasDavies 



■ Lin's life story 
soon becomes a 
fascinating tale. 

'fj Uppers & 
•*• Downers 

Fifth Gear 

■ Hugely absorbing story 

■ Involving fight sequences 

■ Hours and hours of 

■ Unwieldy camera 

■ A few too many cut- 

■ Only out in America and 
Japan. Gah! 


■ Publisher: EA/Square ■ Developer: 
Squaresoft ■ Price: TBC ■ Release date (USA): 
on sale now (available from NextGen on 
0181 339 0666) ■ Release date (UK): none 

■ Players: 1 

If you thought that Square exhausted its 
creative talents with the near-perfect 
Final Fantasy VII, be prepared for a shock. 

Ever since Final Fantasy VII, gamers who are 
usually only satisfied when blowing alien 
heads off have been eagerly awaiting the 
sequel to Square's wondrous RPG. Luckily, 
Square doesn't restrict itself to one great 
game every two years (a practise known 
as "pulling a Nintendo"), and it has delivered 
once again with Xenogears, which - in some 
ways - is even better than the great FF. 

The plot is as head-scratchingly complicated 
as we've come to expect from Japanese RPGs. 
You guide Fei, a young man who lives (for the 
first half -hour of the game) in the little village 
of Lehan. Fei was abandoned as a child and is 
troubled by nightmarish visions of his forgotten 
past, and so the stage is set for a twisty-turny 
story of self-discovery, heart-ache and - best of 
all - gob-smackingly gorgeous robot battles. 

Xenogear's between-f ight sections are, 
essentially, what's expected in a post-FFVII 
gaming world. Fei walks about, buys stuff, sells 
stuff and talks to characters, some of whom 
join his party to help in later combat. The 
worlds, including towns, deserts, caves and 
forests, are rendered in fully rotatable real- 

time 3D, and often top FFVII's pre-rendered 
environments in detailed and atmosphere. 

Before long, though, a battle ensues, and 
the real fun begins. Unlike most RPGs, Fei isn't 
restricted to one attack per "turn", enabling 
you to pull together a fighting game-style 
combo of kicks and punches. Although magic 
has less of a starring role than in Final Fantasy, 
Fei's abilities grow with experience, giving you 
an impressive inventory of fiery, sparkly attacks. 

But it's the Gears themselves - humongous 
robotic blokes that characters climb into and 
control - that supply the most jaw-dropping 
battles. If you're a fan of big bangs and flashy 
lights you can gorge yourself on the range of 
over-the-top moves and special effects that 
these out-sized Transformer lookalikes supply. 
Frying a group of puny humans with a 60ft 
wall of fire is an experience to be treasured. 

While Xenogear's battles supply the short- 
term adrenaline rush, the story - which we 
won't spoil for you here - makes sure you're 
gripped through til dinnertime. The real-time 
set pieces and anime segments are guaranteed 
to have you staring at the TV til you develop 
cataracts. They're almost too plentiful, but 
then who cares when the story's so good? 

So, where's the catch? It's in the fact that 
Square has no plans to bring Xenogears to 
Europe. By advising you to buy the import 
version and chip your PlayStation so that you 
can play it, we would, of course, be acting 
highly irresponsibly. But, oh... you know? Better 
than Final Fantasy VII... big robots fighting... you 
catch our drift... * * * * * Mark Green 

Or you 
could try. 

t Final Fantasy VII 
I Squaresoft***** 
[ Except that you've 
| probably already got it 

shooting, you coulddo worse than this. 

122 | Arcade | January | 1999 


Tomb Raider III 

■ Publisher: EIDOS Interactive 

■ Developer: Core ■ Price: 
£44.99 ■ Release date: on sale 
now ■ Players: 1 

The third Tomb Raider in as 
many years sees Lara at the 
peak of her powers and as 
gorgeous on PlayStation as 
she is on the PC 

■ It's felt like a very long time 
coming. There's been half a year 
of unmissable hype. Countless 
variations on the sophisticated 
"breasts" puns. The completely 
uncalled-for Marks and Sparks 
Lara pants tie-in. Tomb Raider III 
still manages to justify all these 
efforts by being bloody brilliant, 
as we told you at greater length 
in Arcade Ts review of the near- 
identical PC version. 

As you'd expect, Lara in her 
latest PlayStation outing isn't quite 
as graphically gorgeous as she 
appears to be if you're playing the 
3D accelerated PC game, but to 
be fair, she's never looked better 
on Sony's PSX. And the shift to 
hi-res makes for levels so stunning 
that you'll want to get to the next 
one simply to gasp at the view. 

You do need to watch out for 
a ham-fisted, PlayStation-only 
attempt at enabling you to guide 
Lara using the analogue Dual 
Shock controller, though, which 
transfers the familiar leaps and 
side-steps on to the thumb sticks. 
Unlike Mario 64, the game wasn't 
written for this kind of input, so 
you're much better off sticking 
with the more familiar hard-but- 
fair D-Pad imprecision. 

These small differences aside, 
the PlayStation version's ingenious 
levels match those on the PC right 
down to their scary placement of 
ravenous endangered species. 
Perhaps most importantly, the 
constantly teetering balance that's 
achieved between puzzles and 
action is still ever present, making 
77? /// fizz along like a lit fuse, 
despite being the toughest Tomb 
Raider by a comfortable margin. 
Ultimately, this is Lara's greatest 
adventure yet. On this form you 
could forgive her just about 
anything - even if you do get 
bought the pants for Christmas. 

Robin Alway 


■ Publisher: Microids 

■ Developer: Microids ■ Price: 
£39.99 ■ Release date: on sale 
now ■ Players: 1 

Oh my lord, no. It's another 
of those run-of-the-mill 
flight blasters in which you 
have to protect the world 
from an alien invasion 
(yawn). It is French, though. 

■ Search wherever you like in the 
world and you'd be hard pressed 
to find an original videogame idea 
these days. Most of the successful 
releases take a well-established 
formula (be that racing, sports sim, 
first-person shooter) and improve 
upon it, adding new touches, one 
or two neat ideas and their own 
individual slant. Some games, 
however, don't even bother with 
the individual slant bit. Or the 
improvement bit, for that matter. 
And Invasion is one of those. 

The model here is clearly 
Psygnosis' G-Police, although 
Invasion is such a generic airborne 
blaster that you should be able to 
spot elements from a whole host 
of precursors. You're in control of 
a plane/chopper/spaceship (it's 
never made clear) and you receive 
missions from the command 
centre, which include intercepting 
convoys, destroying enemy power 
stations and battling it out with 
warships. And you must carry all 
this out under a constant barrage 
of hostile fire. You get the picture. 

Invasion's landscapes are all 
reasonably imaginative and you're 
able to view sections of them in 
the distance. The oncoming alien 
ships are smartly drawn and you 
have a formidable arsenal at your 
disposal, although while the fire 
from the various weapons looks 
impressive, whatever you use, it all 
has much the same effect. 

Microids hasn't even bothered 
to create you much of a motive 
for completing the game's blast- 
based missions; a brief opening 
sequence mentions an alien 
invasion in the year 2093 - do 
stop me if you've heard this one 
before. Originality was clearly 
never anywhere near Invasion's 
agenda - we advise you to wait 
for the release of G-Police 2 in 
March. •• Sam Richards 


■ Publisher: Psygnosis 

■ Developer: Psygnosis 

■ Price: £40 ■ Release date: 
on sale now ■ Players: 1 

Good friends platforming 
and snowboarding might 
have thought that marriage 
was a good idea, but their 
friends were whispering 
disapproval from the start. 

■ So if there aren't any truly new 
ideas, floating around and waiting 
to be grabbed, it must be a hard 
life to live as a game designer, 
constantly having to reach into 
previously unexplored areas of 
your brain in search of something 
that little bit different. But, as in 
any profession, there're always the 
lazy ones. And the designer of 
Psybadek must have spent all of 
20 seconds coming up with the 
idea to merge the platforming 
and snowboarding genres. 

Psybadek has all the hallmarks 

of a common-or-garden platform 
game - a 3D environment, stages 
awash with both platforms and 
wandering baddies, jungle and 
Arctic worlds - but the central 
character is on a hoverboard. So 
where's all the sex that those 
magazine adverts refer to? Just a 
marketing gimmick, I'm afraid, 
friends - the central characters in 
Psybadek are all of 13 years old. 

The first real problem with 
Psybadek is the difficulty you'll 
find inherent in controlling that 
futuristic plank of wood. The 
board's unresponsiveness prompts 
the need for God-like turning 
skills, and the need to use an 
extra button to climb steep hills is 
unnecessarily frustrating. In the 
mean time, the poor old U-turn 
button is only of use in the boss 
arenas, and even then it's too 
unwieldy to use properly. 

Psygnosis has exacerbated the 
board problem by not tailoring the 
platform-style levels to the main 

shortcomings of racing-game 
controls. Jumping from ledge to 
ledge is difficult enough with a 
normal platform character, but try 
to pull it off with separate left, 
right, accelerate and decelerate 
controls, in a slippery ice world - 
where an instant death is your 
reward if you fall - and the CD 
will quickly find itself in the bin. 

The level style is varied, but 
the range of challenges is limited 
- the mazes to negotiate, slaloms 
to "dek" down and bosses to 
throw balls at are all variations on 
the theme of racing and jumping. 
The graphics are detailed and 
colourful, but there's an unhealthy 
amount of pop-up and the 
tendency for the ground to turn 
rainbow-coloured and transparent 
doesn't help proceedings at all. 

The game's biggest problem, 
though, is that monotony sets in 
almost before you've begun. The 
appeal of platform games often 
lies in the desire to see what's 
around the next corner, and the 
feeling of discovery as you find 
out. Psybadek always offers 
another round of dek-steering or 
platform-negotiating, and will 
ultimately give you as much a 
feeling of discovery as when you 
find someone else's hair in the 
bath tub. • * Mark Green 


3t rouid-ifi 

by Robin Alway 

It's a bit of a lean month on the cheapo front, what with all the full-price Christmas 
releases stacking the shelves, but we've still secured a couple of £20 bargains. 


■ Publisher: Infogrames 

■ Developer: Infogrames 

■ Price: £19.99 ■ Release 
date: on sale now ■ Players: 
1-2 ■ Extras: Dual Shock- 
compatible ■ Other 
formats: N64 

Time hasn't been particularly 
kind to this once challenger for 
the title of the PlayStation's 
Best Racer. First Gran Turismo 
(or "that bloody game" as the 
developers of other racers must 
surely call it) came along and 
made any other driving game 
seem poor by comparison. And 
then Colin McRae did the 
whole rallying thing in mud- 
splatteringly realistic fashion. 

However, if you don't 
expect anything as deep as 
Turismo or sim based as Mr 
McRae there's plenty to enjoy 
in V-Rally. Hemming it around 
45 narrow courses in a variety 
of international locations has a 
lot going for it, particularly as 
the excellent weather effects 
make you feel just like you're in 
Spain or Scotland. 

The ultra-sensitive handling 
takes a while to get to grips 

with, and you'll spend most of 
your early games upside down, 
as the merest scuff of a kerb 
sends you barrel rolling down 
the track. It's a swear word- 
inventingly frustrating race - 
especially as the other drivers 
aren't above nudging you into 
a treacherous corner - but the 
rather steep learning curve 
does make for a hard-fought 
feeling of satisfaction when 
you make it to the finish line 
without a scrape. 

Rather than just sticking V- 
Raily in a new box, Infogrames 
has included an exclusive car 
(Toyota Corolla WRC 98, Top 
Trump fans) for the Platinum 
re-release and also added Dual 
Shock vibration; the perfect 
accompaniment to all the 
countless crashes. 

If you can handle having 
your driving skills subjected to 
such car-flipping indignity, then 
V-Ratl/s still in the upper 
echelons of the PlayStation's 
supremely competitive driving 
game genre, and well worth 
sampling at half its original 
price. • * • • 

The Lost World 

■ Publisher: EA Classics ■ 
Developer: Dreamworks ■ 
Price: £19.99 ■ Release date: 
on sale now ■ Players: 1 

While it might be true that 
Steven Spielberg has a Sega 
Lost World coin-op in his office, 
the famously sentimental 
director would be mad to 
chuck this console game on 
his PlayStation of a lunchtime. 
Unless he's showing Jeff 
Goldblum how dreadful it is. 

Where Sega's light-gun 
shooter told you "Something 
has survived..." and then gave 
you the means to gun it down, 
this Dreamworks-developed 
tie-in offers a Pandemonium- 
style pseudo-3D platform 
approach with little success. 

On the positive side, you 
do get to control dinosaurs as 
well as humans over the course 
of five large stages. There's 
plenty of short-term fun to 
be had stomping through all 
the detailed levels as a t-rex, 
chewing people's heads off to 
keep up your energy levels. 

But although the dinos 
look every bit as good as you'd 

expect from the videogame 
arm of Spielberg's empire, 
some unforgivable-in-this-day- 
and-age platforming errors 
work to extract most of the 
enjoyment from Lost World. 
Most heinous are the "leap 
of faith" bits where you're 
seriously expected to jump 
into thin air in the hope that 
there's an unseen platform to 
land on. Along with enemies 
that attack before you see 
them and some rather more 
straightforward bugs that have 
you falling through seemingly 
solid platforms, this all adds up 
to a frustratingly difficult and 
downright unfair experience. 
Like the film it's based on, The 
Lost World's main achievement 
is to make you very bored of 
dinosaurs. Stick a quid in the 
coin-op version instead to see 
what you're missing. *■■*■ 

January | 1 999 1 Arcade 1 123 

New PC Games 



■ The Gauss gun (above) is an 
industrial-strength weapon 
quite capable of clowning a 
chopper more successfully 
than a B-list celebrity pilot. 
It also warrants a place in 
the Innovations catalogue - 
heavy weaponry edition - 
with its neat "rocket jump" 
feature, hence the bolt-on 
fuel canister. 



124 1 Arcade | January | 1999 

Half -Life's white-coated 
scientists take more than 
their fair share of death. 

■ Publisher: Sierra ■ Developer: Valve ■ Price: £39.99 

■ Release date: on sale now ■ Players: 1-multi-player 
deathmatch ■ Requires P133, 24Mb RAM, 2x CD-ROM 
drive, sound card. Win 95 ■ Recommended: P166, 32Mb 
RAM, 3D accelerator card (Open GL or Direct 3D) 

The research facility has collapsed, your colleagues 
have been transformed into alien scum and the 
military want you dead. Just another day at Black 
Mesa Research. Watch out for that rip in the space- 
time continuum on your way to the bathroom... 

You can tell at a glance if someone's played Half-Life. 
They have this strange, staring gleam in their eye, the 
kind of lit-f rom-within intensity you usually see only 
in suicide bombers and alien abductees. 
They can't stop talking about it, either. Once 
Half-Life has taken hold of them, people who used 
to converse perfectly rationally can't help but begin their 
every sentence with the words, "And there's this great bit 
where..." They clutch you by the shoulders and barrage you 
with details. "The helicopter chase...", they gibber. "The 
laser-activated booby-traps. The tie-straightening man." 

Try steering the conversation gently towards another 
subject and these Half-Life zealots will nod abstractedly for 
a while, wait for a moment's pause, and then begin again. 
"Oh," they'll say, as you tactfully try to inform them of their 
grandfather's demise, "and there's this great bit where you 
get to leap on top of a tank and use its heavy machine gun 
to shred an alien onslaught. Have I mentioned the laser- 
activated booby-traps?" 

And there's this great bit where the lift you've just 
entered shudders to a halt, and you spend a few silent 
seconds wondering what to do next, with the car rocking 
slightly. Then, with a sudden scream of metal, the whole 
thing plummets 50 feet into a lake of radioactive ooze. 

And there's this great bit where you 
can hear a scientist in the next room 
talking to a security guard and telling him 
not to over-charge the experimental 
weapon he's playing with, and the 
security guard says, "What do you mean, 
over-charge?", then there's an enormous 
explosion, and when you enter the room 
it's littered with bloody fragments. 

You see, I've played it too. 

Half-Life is the most important PC title 
since Quake, and it makes Quake look like 
rubbish. It makes Quake II look like the 
work of schoolchildren. It makes Unreal 
look positively amateurish. It makes 
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter look like a 

<f Uppers & 
'*' Downers 

Fully cocked 

■ Revolutionary 
step-on from 
typical Quake- 
style 3D shooters 

■ Fantastic, well- 
game world 

■ Scary, with a 
sense of humour 

■ More "good 
bits" than just 
about any game 
ever made 

■ Even better 
than the N64's 
ColdenEye 007 
Half cocked 

■ En. 

dreadful, dreadful joke. Half-Life is better, even, 
than the once best-game-ever: the N64's 
sublime GoldenEye 007. 

Half-Life blazes a trail for an entirely new 
generation of games, where technical 
achievement is perfectly complemented by a 
truly original creative vision. Playing it, you feel 
slightly awed - privileged to witness the creation 
of a new standard. A new classic. 

It is, in the crassest terms, a first-person- 
perspective 3D-shooter. Technically, it's based on 
the Quake and Quake II graphical engines, with 
lots of extra jiggery pokery, unique to developer 
Valve. But whereas both Quake and Quake II 
amount to nothing much 
more than their engines, 
with a collection of levels 
added seemingly as an 
afterthought, Half-Life 
has been conceived on 
altogether different terms. 

To begin with, it creates a perfectly plausible living world. 
The heavy hand of the level designer is almost invisible as 
you travel through seamlessly linked environments, dealing 
with real-world problems. There's no "pick up the glowing 
blue skull to lower the wall" nonsense here, just a collection 
of superbly integrated obstacles and challenges. 

You can't open that door, with its optical-scanning lock? 
Then locate and rescue a scientist with the correct security 
clearance, get them to follow you, and they'll open it for 



■ The scenery might not be as gloriously plush as Unreal"*, but Half-Life lets you interact with 
its in-game environment to a staggering extent. Superb level design often relies on the floors 
collapsing, grills being prised off walls, and walls which come tumbling down. 

January | 1 999 1 Arcade 1 125 

New PC Games 



p _ 1 

1 3 1 

■ Half -Life succeeds in its 
mission of scaring the life out 
of you with none-more-eerie 
lighting effects and monsters 
the size of a semi-detached. 


you. You can't get past the enormous alien 
mega-beast? Ah, but once you know 
that it can only sense by sound, then it's 
easy enough to distract the creature with 
a couple of well-aimed hand grenades. 

This absorbing world is made more realistic 
by its lifelike population. Characters go about 
their business without your intervention, and 
react to your presence with remarkable 
intelligence. You'll overhear them having 
conversations, see them engage in fierce 
battles and watch as they try - with little 
success - to rescue each other. 

If you ask nicely, some of them will 
follow you around and even (if armed) 
help you take on hostile forces. Most, though, simply want 
to kill you. And they're well-equipped to do so. 

All new games claim that their virtual creations have 
a significant degree of artificial intelligence. Generally 
speaking, though, this has been hard to discern. But Half- 
Life revolutionises the concept. Although many of your 
initial encounters are with comically slow-witted foes, 

you're soon pitted against 
the most vigorous enemies 
ever created. 

The government troops, 
in particular, are works of 
genius. They look, sound 
and - crucially - act just as 
though they were human. They hide behind walls. They lay 
down covering fire for each other. Once they've pinned 
you down, they flush you out of hiding with well-aimed 
grenades. And, in a brilliant touch, you can hear them 
communicate with each other over their radios. "Squad - 
let's go!", comes their battle cry. "Fire in the hold!", they yell, 
as they flee from a grenade. "Medic!", scream the wounded. 

The contribution this behaviour makes to the game's 
atmosphere and challenge is impossible to over-estimate. 
You'll sneak up behind a couple of guards and overhear 

them talk about taking revenge for their lost comrades; 
you'll see soldiers place booby-trap ambushes, or scramble 
for a better defensive position, or send out reconnaissance 
teams, and you'll forget that you're playing in a make- 
believe world. It all seems too real. 

And there's plenty more genius still to come. Half-Life 
implements a new model of in-game narrative. At one level, 
you're absorbed by a magnificent, sweeping plot, packed 
with extraordinary action set-pieces: the helicopter assault, 
the tank battle, the garbage crusher, the train crash and so 
on. At the same time, however, little sub-stories are being 
told everywhere around you; as you peer through a 
window at the scientist bravely crushing a brain-eating 
alien, only to see him ambushed from behind seconds 
later; or look on in shock as an armoured personnel carrier 
reverses through a wall, and a platoon of troops spills out 
to engage in a spectacular fire-fight with fearsome aliens. 
And all this is done without a single cut-scene, without 
a single lapse in the action. Everything, even the opening 
credit sequence, is created through the game engine; at any 
time, you can turn your head, run away or open fire. Every 
move you make is fraught with dramatic tension. Around 
every corner lies some new and fantastic sight. There's not 
a moment's slack and there are hundreds of surprises. 
In fact, Half-Life is almost impossible to fault. It's 
perfectly paced, endlessly varied, unremittingly exciting 
and utterly addictive. On a 3D-equipped PC, 
its special effects are unbeatable. And its 
multitude of weapons are phenomenally 
satisfying, from the superb machine gun and 
combined grenade launcher, through to the 
excellently implemented crowbar (that you 
use to smash open crates and break through 
grates), the laser-sighted rocket launcher 
and several truly awesome alien devices. 

Throughout Half-Life, music is used 
sparingly, but effectively. The puzzles are 
pitched at the right level of difficulty, and a 
list of the game's brilliant details would fill 
this magazine. It's truly scary at times, and 
' even has a great sense of humour, with some 
wonderful pieces of dramatic timing and genuinely 
funny lines. The scientist who surveys the carnage of 
his lab and comments ruefully, "Well, there goes our 
grant money", is a particularly gifted comedian. 
The worst you can say about Half-Life is that it 
would nice if, maybe, the lightsourcing was a little 
more dynamic, so you could shoot out some 
lights. Apart from that, it's close to perfect. 

In fact, it's like playing all the best bits from 
all your favourite films. 
* * • • * Jonathan Smith , 


Or you 
could try... 

1 Quake 1 Quaky II 

1 Activision ***** Activision ***** 

1 Industry standard first-person shooter still Superior sequel that maintained Quake's 

| occupying office networks the world over. 1 position as a global gaming phenomenon. 

Gaping maws. Half-Life's got them by the shed-load. 

126 1 Arcade | January 1 1 999 

■ Thief is impressive - but 
only for a while. Then: zzzz 



The Dark Project 

■ Publisher: EIDOS Interactive ■ Developer: Looking 
Glass Studios ■ Price: £44.99 ■ Release date: on sale 
now ■ Players: 1 ■ Requires: P166 ■ Recommended: P266, 
64Mb RAM, soundcard 

The latest release from the people behind System 
Shock and Terra Nova. Except this time round they 
seem to have forgotten something... 

Think about what made Doom so great. Was it the 
brand new 3D engine, which for the first time gave a 
true first-person perspective on the action? Was it the 
settings, from the distant moons of Mars through to 
the the eerie underbelly of the Netherworld? Was it 
the level design - the interweave of corridors, forever 
disorientating and confusing you? Or was it the weapons 
and baddies, the killing, the death, the blood? 

Mostly, I'd say, it was the simple fact that nothing before 
had ever made the need to survive and to kill so great. Sure, 
Doom's successors have better game engines and bigger 
levels, but it's the ever-deadlier weapons that everybody's 
really interested in; the different ways you get to kill. 

Now imagine the anti-Doom - a first person shooter 
where the idea, perversely, is not to kill anybody. Set it in, 
say, medieval times, and litter the place with guards in chain 
mail. You can have a sword, a club and a bow if you really 
need them, but the idea is to sneak past all the baddies, 
hide in the shadows and Not Be Seen. 

There's more to it than that, but Thief is essentially a 
first-person shooter without the shooting - a sneak-'em- 
up, as we're learning to call them, for this is yet another 

example of that newest of genres, best exemplified by the 
PlayStation game, Metal Gear Solid. For those who loved 
Doom, Quake et al, all this shifty, hiding stuff can come as 
a bit of a culture shock, but you can't deny that Thief is a 
quality work offering some interesting gameplay elements. 
If you mow down a guard, you need to pick up his corpse 
and hide it out of view, so as not to attract the attention of 
his buddies. Sound plays a part, too - listen for soldiers 
talking; when you hear them, use a different route. 

Thief s levels are well designed, the missions specific and 
the game engine detailed enough to make it believable, but 
I can't quite shake this niggling feeling that somehow it's all 
a bit silly. Sure, for a while, it's intriguing. You have to make 
sure you stick to the dark areas and keep out of the light, 
fair enough. You fire water arrows to put out torches. Fine, 
clever stuff, but after a while it all becomes a tad, well... 
boring. Imagine going to play Laser Quest with your mates. 
What would be the most 
fun? Running around trying 
to blow each other's brains 
out, or sneaking about, 
hiding from everyone else? 

Thief has other snags, 
too. If you were actually 
trying to sneak around a castle, you wouldn't do it wearing 
blinkers, but the nature of the first-person game engine 
gives Thief just this impression. Of course, you can rotate 
your view with your mouse, but while you're busy scouting 
for bad guys, three of them might charge from behind and 
slay you. Thief tries to be realistic, but this means that if 
you're attacked by more than one person, you'll lose. 

Stick at Thief and you'll find a strongish game, but a tk 
slow one. Go for Half-Life instead. • * * Rich Pelley **4 

■ Can it be right? Can the 
sneak-'em-up backlash have 
started already? Reckon so... 


Or you 
could try 

I GT Interactive ***** 
| In your face, with guns, gore and monsters. 
What do you mean, you haven't tried it? 


GT Intetactive ***** 

Guns, gore and atmosphere - and intelligent 

characters add to the gut-churning mix. 

'fc Uppers & 
v Downers 


■ Detailed engine 

■ Atmospheric 

■ Gentle learning 

■ Boring 

■ Poor combat 

January | 1999 1 Arcade 1 127 

New PC Games 


^| Uppers & 
4* Downers 


■ It looks 
absolutely great 

■ And it's laugh- 
out-loud funny 

■ Necessarily 

■ Some tired 

■ And that's 
really about it... 

Grim Fandango 

■ Publisher: LucasArts ■ Developer: LucasArts 

■ Price: £40.00 ■ Release date: on sale now ■ Players: 1 

■ Requires: P133, 32Mb RAM, 100Mb HD space, 4x 
CD-ROM drive, sound card. Win 95 ■ Recommended: 3D 
accelerator card, joystick or joypad 

So you thought adventure games were slow and 
boring, eh? Well, here comes LucasArts, doing what 
it does best - making you see things differently, 
in its latest, expertly presented package. 

IucasArts, it seems, can do no wrong. Blessed with the 
holy grail of all game licences - Star Wars, naturally - 
the company's back catalogue of games is stuffed to 
the gills with gem-studded hits. X-wing Vs TIE Fighter, 
Jedi Knight and the upcoming X-wing Alliance; they 
are all textbook examples of how to "do" games 
properly. And it's to some large extent the Star Wars axis 

■ Oh, look. You've just missed the joke about Robert Frost. 

that has earned the company such critical and commercial 
acclaim. And yet, there's another game genre - one not at 
all involved with lightsabres and Wookies - that LucasArts 
can justifiably claim to be master at, and that's the point- 
and-click adventure game. A quick roll-call of past triumphs 
includes such luminaries as Full Throttle, Sam and Max Hit 
the Road and the Monkey Island series. Witty, lively and 
almost always slightly surreal, they're each and every one a 
compelling advertisement for a genre that LucasArts has 
more or less made its own. 

So, then: Grim Fandango. It's an adventure game. It's by 
LucasArts. And it's absolutely bloody brilliant. 

The reasons for this are manifest, but in the interests of 
objectivity and at least a little criticism, you'd have to say 
that innovation isn't one of them. Mining a rich seam of 
tradition that's changed little over the years, the nuts and 
bolts of the game rely on some very familiar point-and-click 
mechanics. You can examine items in your environment, use 
them and add them into your inventory, and you can speak 
to characters, but that's about it. Where Grim Fandango 

128 1 Arcade | January | 1 999 


■ Just see these pictures. Wallow in their loveliness. Be amazed. 

leaves the past behind, though, is in its presentation and 
content - this is better than Monkey Island, better than 
Sam and Max Hit the Road. We would go so far as to say 
that never before have graphics, story and humour been 
married into such a toweringly imaginative, inventive and 
laugh-out-loud package. 

The plot is suitably outlandish. Taking its immediate 
visual cues from film noir and the Mexican "Day of the 
Dead" iconography, most of the characters in the game 
are, it has to be said, a little skeletal. You play one such 
unfortunate called Manny Calavera, a travel guide for the 
hereafter, whose job is to ferry newly-arrived souls through 
their purgatory in the underworld. In a crafty homage to 
Glengarry Glen Ross, your sales-heavy job is being undercut 
by an unscrupulous rival. This forms the basis of an epic 
conspiracy that spans two discs and four years, and it's all 
realised in three glorious dimensions. 

The design of the characters and their heavily stylised 
environments are never less than impeccable. Manny 
himself is introduced in full traditional Grim Reaper garb 
(hood, cloak and scythe), as he interviews a client. Post- 
meeting, he wanders into his office, shrugs off the cloak 
and kicks off his hydraulic stilts (for imposing height, natch) 
to reveal a cheap blue suit. Manny's personal driver, a huge 
orange demon (named Glottis), is a particular triumph of 
character design. Fantastically animated, he lays claim to 
being one of the most entertaining game characters ever. 

But throughout, Grim 

Fandango's attention to 

detail is astounding. Skeletal 

pigeons flutter away in the 

background, Manny's head 

turns to look if there's 

anything potentially useful around and shadows are cast. 

The whole thing is simply a joy to watch. So much so, in fact, 

that any significant others in your life are soon 

going to feel a little under-appreciated. 

And the gameplay more than lives up 
to the visuals. The dialogue system - which 
offers you a selection of questions to ask, 
and responses to give - mixes up general 
information-gathering inquiries with hysterical 
asides. At one point, you'll encounter a skeletal 
clown making balloon animals - when asked if 
he can make a cat, he responds indignantly 
that he's so good, he can make a famous poet. 
Naturally, you're given the option of asking him 
to do Robert Frost. Who he then does. It's 
probably more entertaining on the screen than 
in print, but it sums up Grim Fandango's humour 
perfectly: a little absurd, a little surreal and it 
makes you feel like the cleverest man on Earth 
when you get the joke. 

Grim Fandango, then, comes wholeheartedly 
recommended. It's a trip in every sense of the 
word - engrossing, epic, funny and, simply, 
exquisite. It may not feature dinosaurs, rocket 
launchers or even nuclear air strikes, but, in 
this one instance, you won't really miss 
them. Play this game. Jjk 


■ (Right) That's Glottis. His 
teeth may be sharp, but his 
heart's soft. And big. A lot 
like the rest of him, in fact. 
Some good examples of Grim 
Fandango's lovingly detailed 
characters (above). Guess 
which one is Manny in his 
work clothes? 

January | 1999 1 Arcade 1 129 

New PC Games 





nfc Uppers & 


■ Excellent level 

■ Realistic game 
world is neat 

■ Usable vehicles 
add to the fun 


■ A crippling 
failure to innovate 

■ Re-loading 
saved games 
takes an age 

■ Publisher: Activision ■ Developer: Ritual 
Entertainment ■ Price: £40 ■ Release date: on sale now 

■ Players: 1 (up to 16 multi-player) ■ Requires: P166, 
32Mb RAM, 50Mb HD space, 4x CD-ROM speed, 
soundcard. Win 95 ■ Recommended: 3D accelerator 
card (supports 3Df x, D3D, PowerVR) 

According to almost everyone. Sin was to be the 
ultimate Quake //-killer from the Scourge 
of Armagon mission pack guys. 
It's not. Now for the inquest... 

First-person shooters are gradually 
overwhelming the PC games 
industry like a uncontrollably 
metastasising tumour. But while 
the vast majority of upcoming 
releases use the Unreal engine to 
display their wares, Sin is happy to take 
Quake II technology, manipulating it into 
something more... authentic. 

For Sin is a game grounded in realism 
- a virtual stroll through environments 
that you'd expect to encounter in the outside 
world, populated for the large part by characters 
you'd find in any bank-heist movie. In other ways too, 
developer Ritual has chosen to slap the face of 

convention, and do things its own way. You can disregard 
simple key collection and location of exits, and say a cheery 
hello to interactive computer terminals, manifold destructive 
scenery and objectives that rely on theme-of-the-moment 
stealth rather than a degree in carnage studies. 

Thus it is that Ritual has taken a brave stab at re-writing 
the rulebook according to id and Epic, and in doing so has 
created a rich, diverse game, that manages to keep the 
action quota high without omitting a strong narrative. And 
Ritual would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for 
those pesky kids at Valve who, with this 
month's Half-Life, have tackled a similar 
concept - but with far more success. 
It must be said that for much 
fc. of the game. Sin is a pleasure to 
k play; early levels ask you to chase 
henchmen through meticulously- 
designed banks and warehouses, 

and later you can expect to 
y board an oil rig, and ultimately 
T your arch-nemesis' plush 
| mansion. Nifty set-pieces (like 
bosses cropping up mid-level, 
before running away), the 
obviously Go/den£ye-inspired 
sniper rifle that enables you to 
make long-range kills, and the non-linear 
mission structure, are all plus points that set 
Sin apart from Quake It's repetitive style of 
play and Unreal's linearity. 

130 1 Arcade | January | 1999 

■ The big problem is Sin's lack of innovation - and that's just 
not something you can get away with in the month of Half-Life. 

Yet it's ultimately let down by a failure to startle or 
amaze. Many of the missions demand that you creep 
around, taking enemies out before alarms are set off (again, 
from GoldenEye), but failure to remain hidden comes at a 
price. Make yourself known, and a seemingly infinite supply 
of armed guards appear rapidly from nowhere, making 
further progress near-impossible and necessitating you 
reload a saved game. Unfortunately, this is no painless 
process - loading times are long, and bearing in mind that 
the game is so tough, you must be prepared to sit through 
many minutes of impotent inaction waiting for another go. 




Elsewhere, Sin proves itself little more than a rich source 
of plagiarised ideas; Duke Nukem voice-overs punctuate the 
action; enemy models have localised damage skins, making 
single head shots fatal {GoldenEye once more); and you will 
have seen almost all the weapons at your disposal before - 
it's an unoriginal collection that relies on the pistol, shotgun, 
chaingun, machine gun and rocket launcher to form its bulk. 

Despite these failings, however, the amount of work 
expended on Sin is clear. Level design is generally good, and 
aside from a couple of lame underwater sequences, the 
sub-objectives (as indicated vocally by your sidekick, JO are 
interesting enough to keep you going. The addition of a 
couple of useable vehicles is particularly welcome, and the 
opening, which sees you in control of a helicopter chaingun, 
is innovative. Add to this an extensive training area and 
shooting range, between-mission cut-scenes, and sharp 
visuals, and Sin sounds like a contender for king of its genre. 

Yet for all its instantly-recognisable appeal, the game is 
ultimately a mixed bag of rehashed ideas punctuated by a 
few sublime set-pieces that hint at what could have been. 
Bear in mind that Half-Life out-performs it in just about 
every area, and Sin is left firmly in the position of also-ran. 
Damn those guys at Valve. • * • Matthew Pierce 

Or you 
could try 

d our PC Game of trie Month. 


6T Interactive ***** 

fre-Half -Lifes, the fmiest first-person 3D 

shooter on the PC, and still fantastic 

■ Ah, isometric 3D streets. 
Gangsters looks just like 
Sim City, but with guns. 

■f Uppers & 
•*" Downers 

Gun sharks 

■ Old-style good looks 

■ Gets better as you play 

Gun shy 

■ Off-puttingly compficated 

■ Not one for the over-moral 

iCeiutlf mprrauceeribitnc 


an mu n*% <i KsstttB' 



■ Publisher: Eidos Interactive ■ Developer: Hothouse 

■ Price: £34.99 ■ Release date: on sale now 

■ Players: 1-4 ■ Requires: Pentium, 120MHz, 32Mb 
RAM, 140Mb HD space, 4x CD-ROM drive, 2Mb 
DirectX compatible graphics card, DirectSound 
compatible sound card. Win 95 

■ Recommended: TCP/IP, IPX network or modem and 
Internet account for multiplayer 

In Sim City you had to keep your citizenship happy 
and wealthy. Gangsters is the opposite: you've got 
to scare them and squeeze them dry. 

Gangsters is set in the 1930s, in the fictional, Chicago- 
like New Temperance. It's the height of prohibition, 
making it ideal turf for your kind of morality-free 
aspiring gang leader. You've got a bit of dosh put 
away, and a couple of minor rackets going, but you 
want to make it Capone-big, and fast. 
Time, then, to build an empire on human weakness. 
First off, you'll need to recruit a few mobsters to help you 
squeeze money out of the local businesses - you'll need a 
financial base. Extortion, murder and the rest will follow, 
along with accountants to keep track of your largely ill- 
gotten gains, and lawyers to get you out of tight spots. 
As your influence expands and wealth increases, you can 
poach hoods from rival gangs, start legitimate(ish) cover 

businesses and bribe city 
officials. If anybody gets in 
your way, there are various 
ways to bring them round, 
ranging from intimidation 
to murder. Orders are given 
out at the start of each 
quaintly-named working week, when you tell your guys 
where to go and who to do over. 

It's clear that a lot of attention has been paid to the 
way Gangsters looks. The street views are A 
excellent - packed with people in 
period dress, a large number of 
them carrying violin cases. Less 
satisfying, at least at first, are the 
controls. The orders screens that 
enable you to control your gang 
seem cluttered, and the whole 
thing off-puttingly complicated. 
Put in the time, however, and 
you'll be rewarded with a 
satisfying strategy game - and 
a seriously large crime empire. A 
game that gets better the more you 
put into it. * * * Jim Chandler 




■ Gangsters is packed with 
pleasing period detail: it feels 
and looks like White Heat. 

Or you 
could try 

Syndicate Wars 

Electronic Arts *** 

More tactical than Gangsters, but you still 

control a gang bent on world domination. 

January | 1999 | Arcade 1 131 

New PC Games 

Football World 

■ Publisher: Ubisoft 

■ Developer: Caffeine Studios 

■ Price: £34.99 ■ Release 
date: January ■ Players: 1 

■ Requires: P90, 16Mb RAM, 
25Mb HD space, 4x CD-ROM 
drive, DirectX 5-compatible 
sound and video cards. Win 
95 ■ Recommended: P166, 
32Mb RAM 

Caffeine peps up the f ooty 
management genre with an 
ambitious first release. 

■ The work that's gone into this 
is apparent from kick off - after 
all, only someone who's seriously 
trying is going to offer you over 
1,200(!) clubs with which to begin 
your managerial career. As well as 
any British team, you can pick one 
of the world's big boys (Spain's 
Barcelona, say), or one of its 
tiddlers (Babrungas from 
the Lithuanian second 
division, anyone?), or 
anything in between. Not 
only that, Football World 
Manager also comes with 
"Big" Ron Atkinson's gold- 
plated seal of approval, 
and a superb interface, 
giving you clear and easy 
access to any part of the 
game. There's an 
accurate transfer system, 
ways to train your players 
that make a real difference 
to your team's 
performance, and assorted 
financial shenanigans - a 
potentially dull area that's 
been judged just right, with 
exactly enough detail to make 
it relevant. It doesn't ask you 
to earn more money by - I 
dunno - upping the price of 
season tickets and replica 
shirts, and quite right too. 

Unfortunately, though the pre- 
season warm-up is spot on, come 
match day FWM drops down the 
league. Although you have good 
control over formations and style 
of play, the brief match highlights 
do little to help you see how your 
guys are performing. The info 
provided during each match is 
either irrelevant, or presented in 
such a way that it gives little idea 
as to what changes to make too. 

FWM is a cross between 
Championship Manager and 
Premier League Manager, which 
is a pretty good start. Further 
editions are promised, and from 
the effort put in here, don't be 
surprised if they come on in leaps 
and bounds. Watch for this series 
- it could be capable of Aston 
Villa-like surprises in seasons to 
come. ••• Glen Weston 



Shogo: Mobile 



■ Publisher: Microids ■ Developer: Monolith 
Productions ■ Price: £30 ■ Release date: on 
sale now ■ Players: 1-16 ■ Requires: P166, 
32Mb RAM, 50Mb HD space, 4x CD-ROM 
drive, soundcard. Win 95 ■ Recommended: 
3D accelerator card (supports 3Df x, D3D, 

An original first-person shooter? Surely 
you jest. Nope, says Monolith. 

It's an original mix: half-and-half Quake II 
and Mech Warrior II. The end result is top 
fun, and if not quite as tasty as id or Epic 
efforts, still worth a try. Essentially a first- 
person shooter, Shogo differs from the 
current crop by virtue of its manga theme, 
with wide-eyed Japanese heroes, an anime- 
style soundtrack, and giant, OTT weaponry. 
There's much more character interaction going 
on here than in your average shooter too. 
You start as a foot soldier, but your first 
task is to find, and choose, a giant, Mech-style 
robot suit: from then on, the action revolves 
around battling similarly huge, hulking robots 
across a variety of environments. The style of 
play owes more to Quake than MechWarhor, 


however, and though you're wearing a massive 
metal suit, you're able to jump and strafe with 
ease. Plus, you can transform into a vehicle, 
which is faster at the expense of firepower. 
Utilising Monolith's proprietary LithTech 
engine (also appearing in Blood 2), the visuals 
are top-notch - lighting effects and your 
weapons' particle trails, in particular, are as 
good as any competitors'. The levels are well- 
designed too, and display an attention to detail 
often missing in games of the genre, while 
enemy and item placement is top-notch. Multi- 
player deathmatching is good, too. 

Indeed, only a couple of minor drawbacks 
prevent Shogo: MAD from being exceptional. 
First, it's easy to become confused by the sheer 
power of the game's weapons. The explosions 
and smoke trails look impressive, yet often 
make the battlefield 
hugely confusing. It's 
not a huge game either 
- a few solid days of 
play will see a skilled 
gamer beat it. Other 
than that, though, it's a 
blast. •••• 

'Ij Uppers & 
"i/ Downers 


■ Smashing up cars, trucks 
and buildings is always fun 

■ Well-designed levels 


■ Battle confusion can do 
your head in 

■ it's not very big 

■ The giant robots so popular in Japanese pop culture (see Gundam et al) 
never made an impression in the west. It's a shame, here partly redressed. 

Or you 
could try.. 

Colony Wars: Vengance 


Great-looking 3D shooter, set in space and full of fun stuff tt 

you search for it, but perhaps perhaps a bit empty feeling. 

132 | Arcade | January | 1 999 

■ Don't worry If you've set your heart on ploughing your motor Into real, red-blooded people. Death Race 2000-f arts. We figure 
there'll be patches or codes to restore Carmageddon to its full gory glory within three months, max. (You crazy sicko.) 


ME FOR 11 MAM (HfflK II HI B Iffffl ilL 

Carmageddon 2: 



■ Publisher: Sales Curve Interactive ■ Developer: 
Stainless ■ Price: £34.99 ■ Release date: on sale now 

■ Players: 1-6 ■ Requires: P166, 16Mb RAM, 200Mb 
HD space, 4x CD-ROM drive, SVGA, DirectX6- 
compatible soundcard. Win 95 ■ Recommended: 
3Dfx or Direct3D-compatible 3D card, joystick, 
steering wheel 

The controversial, blood-splattered racing game 
where you're encouraged to mash everything (and 
everyone) that gets in your way. We're amazed the 
censors let them get away with it... 

The original Carmageddon was a masterpiece of hype. 
A bog-standard driving game, massively built up by 
the simple fact that you got rewarded for smashing , 
opposing cars and squishing red-bloodied, quite- 
clearly-human pedestrians. Until the BBFC (British 
Board of Film Censors) made a big fuss about it, and 
the version that went on sale featured green-blooded 
zombies to flatten instead. 

And now here's the second game. Again, it was to 
have featured red pedestrian-blood splattering all over 
the screen. Again, the BBFC got involved. Again, SCI has 
given in, and released Carmageddon 2 with - you guessed 
it - green-blooded zombies instead of people. 

It makes little difference, of course. The game's either 
good or bad, whether it's red or green. And, amazingly in 
this case, Carmageddon 2 actually happens to be quite 
good. Where the original was a bit over-chaotic and 
lacked any real goals, Carpocalypse Now has a decent 
structure to it. You need to complete three races (making 
sure to earn extra points and time by wiping out your 
opponents and smearing zombies all over the place) to 

-jj Uppers & 

| Red blood 

I A decent combination of 
I racing and utter mayhem 
I Green blood 

I Your mother probably 
won't like it 
I Realistic handling, but it 
| feels too heavy 
I Iron Maiden 

get to a race proper, where the 
clock isn't remotely impressed 
by how many kills you make. 
Complete that and you move on 
to the next batch of races. Basic 
stuff, but it gives you more to get 
your teeth into. And the thing's 
packed with bizarre power-ups 
too - particularly intriguing is the 
enormous spiky ball on a chain, 
one guaranteed to completely screw up your handling. 
Ah, yes, the handling. Your basic car steers like a cow 
and crashes at the slightest provocation, but it's sturdy 
enough. Should you hate it (and you will) your only option 
is to earn enough money to buy an opponent's car, which 
becomes available when the owner get killed during a 
race. Much better. And with the handling sorted, you can 
start to enjoy some of the game's incidental pleasures, like 
nifty graphics (although if you have a 3D card you may 
find that it's all a bit too clean) and sonics "enhanced" by a 
raunchy rawk soundtrack from Iron Maiden. 

If you've got a weak stomach (or a moral objection to 
knocking people down, perish the thought) stay away. If 
you have a typically sick gamer's sense of humour and a 
cast-iron constitution, however, you'll find Carpocalypse 
Now a hoot. It's far from epoch-making, but beneath the 
hype you'll find a decent enough racer with plenty of frills. 
Red or green, what's the difference? • • • Travis 

Or you 
could try.. 

Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit 

Electronic Arts * * * * 

Puts you in a similar law-breakin' situation. 

Unless you chose to be a chasing copper. 

Monster Truck Madness 

Microsoft *** 

Pull off crazy stunts in trucks the si. 

of New Mexico. 

■ C2: if s guilty, queasy fun. Cathartic we think you call it 

Railroad Tycoon II 

■ Publisher: Take 2 Interactive 

■ Developer: Poptop 
Software ■ Price: £34.99 

■ Release date: on sale now 

■ Players: 1 and networked 
game ■ Requires: P133, 16Mb 
RAM, 130Mb HD space, 4x 
CD ROM drive, 1024 x 768 
capable video card, Win95 

Nearly ten years after Sid 
Meier's classic let us play 
model railways without a 
giant loft, the sequel's here. 

■ Back at the start of the '90s, 
Railroad Tycoon was an excellent 
strategy game that set you the 
task of building a railway network 
from scratch until, by delivering 
enough of the right cargo to the 
right places, you headed a Great 
Western-like empire that could 
see off your computer-controlled 
opponents. Railroad Tycoon II 
stays faithful to this theme, but 
features enough improvements to 
bring cheers from choo-choo fans. 

This time round the emphasis 
has moved toward the financial 
side of things, with a much- 
improved simulation of the Stock 
Market. The world economy, 
which develops as the game 
progresses, now depends on 34 
different cargo types that you 
have to transport. The railway 
operations, meanwhile, have been 
simplified - they now comprise 
little more than track laying, 
station building, and telling your 
trains where to go and what to 
carry. Signalling and tunnelling 
aren't in the game, which is 
bound to disappoint some of you. 

RTII provides excellent and 
prolonged gameplay with strong 
Al and bags of options. Scenarios 
are set throughout the world and 
cover a period stretching from the 
early 1800s to 2020 - play for 
long enough and you should get 
the opportunity to use all 60+ 
steam, diesel, and electric engines 
provided. A campaign game is 
included, and if you tire of taking 
on the computer, multiplayer 
options are supported via the 
Internet. Features you don't like 
can be minimised or excluded by 
setting your own level of difficulty, 
while most operations can be 
carried out with R77/ paused for 
a turn-based game. 

But whatever level it's played 
at, and whether you pause the 
action or race against the clock, 
the challenge is considerable - as 
is the satisfaction of beating the 
various real-life characters from 
railway history who are pitted 
against you. A great game, then, 
if one that demands specialist 
interest and taste. *•••* 
Glen Weston 

January | 1999 | Arcade 1 133 

New PC Games 


■ Publisher: GT Interactive 

■ Developer: Ratbag ■ Price: 
£34.99 ■ Release date: on sale 
now ■ Players: 1-8 ■ Requires: 
P166, 16Mb RAM, 86Mb hard 
disk space, 4x CD-ROM drive 

■ Recommended: 32Mb RAM, 
3D card ■ Supports: Force 
feedback, modems, serial 
link-up, steering wheel 

A 3D accelerator showcase, 
Emergent's debut doesn't 
pull punches when it comes 
to speed, but car control is 
less impressive. 

■ Rarely has a game been so 
appropriately named. While other 
PC racers look to motorsport for 
inspiration, Powerslide seems to 
have taken its cue from the local 
ice rink. Traction is a dirty word 
here; it doesn't even get a look in. 

You can forget about slavishly 
accurate models of F1 tracks and 
the flat tarmac of the post-Ridge 
Racer brigade. Instead, Powerslide 
is a game where the ground rarely 
sports a smooth finish. Its courses 
pack in some of the prettiest track 
detail around; there's a dam- 
based circuit featuring scaleable 
side walls, dune-filled deserts in 
which to kick up a dust storm, 
and even a mine shaft-based run 
where your vehicle's suspension is 
thrashed to within in an inch of its 
life. Carmageddon II might have 
the gore, but Powerslide has the 
more spectacular environments. 
And its game engine throws them 
around at breakneck speed. 

Making the most of this 
bump-riddled scenery, each car 
obeys a pretty comprehensive set 
of physics rules; every rumble of 
the wheels and collision with 
immovable objects impacting on 
its behaviour. And then there are 
the powerslides. Pretty much 
every mild bend seems to induce 
them, turning every race into an 
epic of skidpan slapstick. Even 
with a top-of-the-line steering 
wheel it's a control system that 
takes ages to master. 

The problem is one of size - 
with just eight playgrounds, and 
little to do beyond play the single- 
player championship or multi- 
player one-offs, it ain't big - and 
the fact that it relies for its fun on 
a nuts driving model. Spectacular 
though this grip-free stuff is, it 
doesn't make for a classic racing 
experience. Neither the cars, nor 
the arenas, convince, while too 
much time is spent battling with 
the physics and not the other 
drivers. Sure, Powerslide looks 
beautiful, but it's hard not to wish 
for something a little less single- 
minded. *•• Mark Ramshaw 



f Uppers & 
4* Downers 


■ Fantastic graphics 

■ East-to-use controls 

■ Exciting battle action 

No tanks 

■ Annoying flipping 
between 3D and maps 

■ Embarrassing name! 

■ Don't treat yourself 
to too much of this 
kind of action: chances 
are that while you're 
playing, your army will 
let you down. 


■ Publisher: Infogrames ■ Developer: DiD 

■ Price: £39.99 ■ Release date: December 
1998 ■ Players: 1-16 ■ Requires P166, 32Mb 
RAM, 300Mb HD space, 4x CD-ROM drive, 
DirectX 6-compatible 3D card, DirectX 6 
compatible soundcard. Win 95 

■ Recommended: Pll 266, 64Mb RAM 

Developer DiD takes a bold step away 
from its simulation roots to provide a 
blend of real-time strategy and arcade 
action in a stunning 3D environment. 
Prepare to be aroused. 

In the near future, virtual warfare has 
replaced the real thing and every nation's 
disputes are fought out in cyberspace 
with accurately modelled landscapes and 
weapons. But - oh no! - this carnage-free 
warzone falls apart thanks to hackers and 
subversives who corrupt and take over the 
virtual battlefield, wreaking havoc in the real 
world. Your mission - should you choose to 
accept it - is to take a small army into the 
World Wide War Web and restore peace to 
the virtual world. 

This is the dubious premise for the equally 
dubiously titled Wargasm. Now, normally any 
game that prompts a reviewer into using the 
word "dubious" twice in the opening lines is 
the sort that should be promptly consigned to 
the bin, but one look at Wargasm and all is 
forgiven. DiD has employed its new 3Dream 
technology here to produce one of the most 
bedazzling experiences on the PC. The glare of 
the sun, splatter of rain, fireball explosions and 

swirls of smoke are ail lovely, while countless 
polygons fly around in the form of accurately 
modelled ground and air forces. What's more, 
you can control them all from a tactical map, 
planning strategies and storming objectives, or 
you can jump into any tank, 'copter or soldier's 
boots to engage the enemy first hand. 

The controls for each type of unit are 
consistent and simple, far removed from the 
complex air simulations upon which DiD has 
built its reputation. Wargasm is designed to 
provide arcade-style first-person action, with 
RTS tactical planning and strategy added on. 

But having been blinded by eye candy, it's 
easy to be fooled into thinking Wargasm has 
achieved an unqualified success. It hasn't. Alas, 
when your eyesight returns and pounding 
heartbeat stabilises you realise that, despite 
the awesome views and adrenaline pumping 
action, the game is not without its faults. Its 
biggest shortcoming is that in order to garner 
most enjoyment from Wargasm you need to 
take on the enemy from the first person 
perspective, yet doing this inevitably leaves the 
rest the rest of your army floundering about 
like squaddies on a lager-filled weekend leave. 
Jump back to the more practical tactical map 
and control things from there for too long, 
though, and the game becomes ugly and 
uninspiring. DiD obviously expects you to keep 
moving between the two, but there are very 
few occasions where this advances your cause 
in the campaign game. This, and other minor 
niggles, don't cripple Wargasm, but they will 
prevent it from becoming a classic. •••• 
Jason Weston 

Or you 
could try.. 


Activision **** 
I A similar combo of first person 
I action and RTS strategy. 

Interactive Magic * * * 
Ooser to a traditional tank 
sim, and best in multi-player. 

134 1 Arcade | January | 1 999 

Rival Realms 

■ Publisher: Titus ■ Developer: 
Active Pub ■ Price: £34.99 

■ Release date: on sale now 

■ Players: 1-8 (multi-player 
network game) ■ Requires: 
P90, 36Mb RAM 

WarCraft II gets progressive, 
with this curious strategy 
sweetmeat from Romanian 
newbies Active Pub. 

■ Rhubarb and custard. Ham and 
pineapple. Laurel and Hardy. We're 
surrounded by things which work 
best as a double act: contrasting 
flavours that complement each 
other beautifully. 

When it comes to blending 
game genres, the same rules 
should apply. Take your standard 
off-the-peg RTS sim; every unit is 
expendable. On the other side of 
the fence sits the RPG, where 
emphasis is on preserving a few 
characters and improving skills 
through progressive encounters. 
And never the twain shall meet... 
until now. Rival Realms makes 
bed-partners of these two styles. 

As a game in its own right, it's 
a pretty well structured affair. The 
fantasy setting offers you three 
races to choose from: Humans, 
Greenskins and Elves. Each has its 
own units and structures - most 
of which correspond - but there 
are exceptions. Where the armies 
really differ is in their rarer special 
units, like magic users and thieves. 
Each unit has skills that give it an 
advantage over other races. 

To begin with, everything is 
expendable; it's only when the 
body count rises and your troops 
start to get good at their jobs 
that they become worth caring 
about. Over time, their value to 
your army as a whole rises, and 
with a wealth of performance- 
enhancing items to discover, you 
can pump your guys up even 
more. This gives you plenty of 
freedom to create "customised" 
armies that you can take into 
battle time after time. 

It all sounds pretty good until 
you actually play the game, which 
is marred by oversights. First, the 
path-finding attributes of your 
units is pitiful at best. You'll end up 
screaming as ragged knots of 
troops bump into trees and follow 
every damn contour the terrain 
has to offer. The control interface 
is a brash affair too, and it's often 
hard to select one unit from a 
bunch, especially in the thick of 
combat. Finally, graphics... a new 
millennium is dawning, but here 
we're stuck a year in the past. 

As it stands, there's plenty of 
meat in Rival Realms' sandwich, 
but the bread is a bit on the stale 
side. *** Alex Bickham 



■ Publisher: Electronic Arts ■ Developer: Dreamworks 
Interactive ■ Price £39.99 ■ Release date: on sale now 

■ Players: 1 ■ Requires: P166, 32Mb RAM, 120Mb HD 
space, 4x CD-ROM drive, SVGA, Windows- 
compatible soundcard. Win 95 ■ Recommended: 
DirectX6-compatible 3D card 

Real world physics, a wavy arm, a large pair of 
virtual breasts and some dinosaurs. Did we forget 
anything, chaps? Oops! Where's the game? 

Ne know exactly what we think of Trespasser, a 
3D game based around the whole Jurassic Park 
franchise, and have no qualms about 
administering the stern kicking it deserves. 
We'll begin by devoting some space to 
the real-world physics that Trespasser 
feels are so important. Everything that can move 
in it moves properly. Find a stack of crates and 
hit them with something, and they'll fall 
realistically, tumbling one over another like real 
crates would do - if you had the time on your 
hands to make such a project appealing. 

Then there's the arm. You interact with 
the "realistic" Trespasser world via an arm 
that can pick things up, swing them 
around, throw them at other things and, 
of course, fire guns. It's good in theory, 
bad in execution. Picking things up with 
the arm is straightforward; doing anything 
remotely useful with them, apart from swinging 
them and throwing them, isn't. And much of the game 
relies on doing things more complicated than swinging 
and throwing inanimate objects around. Even firing guns is 
complicated; we tried to shoot a velociraptor from point- 
blank range and only hit it on the fifth attempt. 

It would be churlish not to cover the virtual breasts, of 
course. Your character's a girl and, if you look down, you 
can see your virtual breasts. Just to ensure they're not 
entirely gratuitous, there's a heart-shaped tattoo on them 
that acts as a health meter; when it fills up with blood, 
you're dead. So that's all right, then. Oh, and there are a 
few dinosaurs hanging around too. You even get to shoot 
some of them - assuming you can fire the gun. 

All of which matters not one jot because Trespasser is 
slow, hideous, complicated to control, and a hair's breadth 
away from being unplayable. This is hardly a lengthy, over- 
informative, or particularly amusing critique, yet it's more 
words than Trespasser deserves. * Travis 

'fj Uppers & 
*■ Downers 

■ Oopsl So you bought a 

copy of Trespasser by 
mistake, did you? Want to 
know what to do with K7 
Let the shot just above and 
to the left act as a <" 

Or you 
could try. 

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter 

Acdaim *■** 

Shoot dinosaurs without worrying about 

a wobbly arm and boring old physio. 

Half life 

Trespasser isn't the future of 3D gaming; 
Half -Life is Just buy it, alright? 


■ The virtual breasts might 
be a handy first step for 
would-be transsexuals 

■ Invaluable for students of 
falling crate physics. If such a 
thing exists 

■ Install it on a friend's PC to 
make them think it's broken. 
Wacky japes ahoy! 


■ Absolutely everything else 

■ No, really, it's crap 

■ Arcade isn't paying me 
enough to have to endure 
rubbish like this 

January | 1999 1 Arcade 1 135 

New PC Games 

Madden NFL 99 

■ Publisher: EA Sports 

■ Developer: EA Sports 

■ Price: £34.99 ■ Release date: 
on sale now ■ Players: 1-4 

■ Requires: P166 (with 3D 
accelerator card), or P200, 
16Mb RAM, 20Mb hard disk 
space, 8xCD-ROM drive. Win 
95 ■ Recommended: 3D card 

■ Supports: network and 
modem play 

Superbowl's coming soon, 
and that means we must be 
due a new Madden game. 
And here it is now. 

■ Sports don't come a great deal 
more offputtingly complicated (or 
homoerotic) than American 
football, but for a period in the 
early '90s (when the Amiga and 
Mega Drive ruled the roost) the 
John Madden series of US football 
sims was red hot, capturing the 
imagination of usually soccer- 
obsessed British videogamers. 
Perhaps it's because of the all- 
dominating FIFA series, perhaps 
it's because Channel 4 no longer 
shows the sport - but for some 
reason the commentator-hosted 
series has never been quite so 
popular since. 

Madden NFL 99 starts off 
with a completely barmy video 
sequence, featuring footage of 
real-life games edited so that 
players catch fire when they run 
particularly quickly, or create Star 
Wars: Special Edition-type 
Shockwaves when they get 
tackled and hit the turf. This all 
points towards an NBA Extreme- 
style artistic licence-riddled 
interpretation of the game, but 
once you get to the options it's 
clear that this Madden is, as usual, 
a proper simulation, rather than a 
full-on arcade extravaganza with 
impossible moves and crazy 
pyrotechnics. Thankfully you can 
bypass all this in-depth stuff and 
play in arcade mode if you're not 
particularly well-versed with the 
finer points of the sport; those 
into stats and the like, however, 
will be chuffed with Madden 99. 

You won't be quite so pleased 
with the excessive loading period 
(even with full hard disk install it 
takes an age), but once up and 
running you'll have to admit that 
the graphics look good, only 
hindered by that traditional 
American football problem - in 
helmets and armour everyone 
looks identical. Here the players 
look like a squad of Terminators - 
it may be no coincidence that 
there are no dogs on the pitch. 

If you're a struggler with the 
rules of American football, you'll 
inevitably find Madden's full 


■ Some of the clambering 
bits owe something to Lara; 
some of the corridors are 
reminiscent of Doom. 

<fc Uppers & 
4»- Downers 


■ You're free to roam 

■ Plenty of secrets and 

■ It's bloody huge 

■ The arcade-style overtones 
work well 


■ The dialogue is awful 

■ Unimaginative plot 

■ Horrid hero 

King's Quest: 
Mask of Eternity 

■ Publisher: Cendant ■ Developer: Sierra Studios 

■ Price: £39.99 ■ Release date: on sale now ■ Players: 1 

■ Requires: P166, 32Mb RAM, 400Mb HD space, 4x 
CD-ROM drive ■ Recommended: Pll 266, 64Mb RAM, 
8x CD-ROM drive, 3D accelerator card (3Df x or D3D) 

Mask of Eternity embraces 3D hardware and real- 
time, without a dice in sight. It's business as usual 
with the "thees" and "thous", though. 

King's Quest, the big name in gaming geekdom, has 
a long history of crimes against literature. It's no 
surprise, then, that Mask of Eternity - like its seven 
forebears - attempts to seduce its target audience 
with sub-Tolkien editorial ardour. Verily, if thou art 
fearful of olde worlde dialogue, MoE is akin to 
being beaten to death with David Gemmell's Y-f rants. 

The RPG was once a staple of the PC owner's gaming 
diet, yet recent years have seen the genre fall from grace. 
Mask of Eternity acknowledges this: it's fully 3D, hardware 
accelerated, real-time. Dice-based combat? Text parsers? 
Begone, foul shades. This latest King's Quest enables you 
to control the (frankly nauseating) "hero" from a first or 
third-person perspective, using a mouse/keyboard combo. 
To describe Mask of Eternity as a traditional RPG would 
thus be misleading. Indeed, weren't it for the fact that the 
term has largely fallen into disuse, we'd call it an arcade 
adventure. Its only real old-school leanings can be found in 
the combat sections. Should you encounter a monster, 

your battle takes place when you select a weapon, then 
click repeatedly on a target to use it. Damage is calculated 
from a range of statistics - your level, personal attributes, 
whatever big stick you've chosen to belt the beast with. 
Puzzles? It has them. Mask of Eternity's more cerebral 
elements are rather simple: find an object, then discover 
where to use it. The arcadey elements make more than a 
passing nod towards the Tomb Raiders of this world too, 
and it's a better game for that. In short, it's approachable, 
and that's not an accusation you could level at many of its 
predecessors. It's a shame, then, that its propensity for 
cliches will turn many players off before they manage to 
peel back the cellophane wrapper. ••■*■• James Price 

Or you 
could try, 


interplay *■*** 

A surprisingly engrossing futuristic RPG 

Wot 3D, but the bitmaps work fine. 

Lands of Lore II 

Westwood Studios * * * * 

fully 3D, first-person RPG. but with more 

maze-negotiation than strictly needed 

I Talk or fight: if only real-life was as simple as an RPG. 

136 1 Arcade | January | 1 999 

control set rather complex - as 
well as controls to move your 
player around, there are six action 
buttons which change function, 
depending on what your team's 
doing - making the arcadey one- 
button option a welcome relief. 
Even in its simplest mode, however, 
Madden is pretty tricky - it's tough 
to make any headway against the 
competent computer teams, and 
kind of unsatisfying. You need to 
really understand what you're 
doing to get decent enjoyment 
out of a gridiron game, and I don't 
- not well enough, anyway. For 
fans, though, this is a current genre 
highlight, if no radical improvement 
over earlier offerings. For non-fans 
it might prove a useful way to learn 
the game •• * Tim Cant 



Microsoft Combat 
Flight Simulator 
WWII Europe 

■ Publisher: Microsoft 

■ Developer: Microsoft 

■ Price: £34.99 

■ Release date: on sale now 

■ Players: 1-multi-player 

■ Requires: P133, 16Mb RAM, 
200Mb HD space, 2x CD-ROM 
drive, 2Mb DirectX graphics 
card, DirectSound 6.0- 
compatible soundcard. 
Win 95 ■ Supports: modem 
or network play 

Scramble at elevenses to 
defend old Blighty, then 
back for tea and medals. 

Microsoft's Flight Simulator was 
written shortly after the Wright 
Brothers' first flight, it seems. It's 
always been one of the premier 
plane sims, offering would-be civil 
pilots a chance to try their hands 
without either the cost or danger. 
And now it's the turn of the 
fighter pilot wannabes. Microsoft 

has been unbelievably slow to 
realise the additional appeal that 
guns and enemies would offer, 
but at last its taken the Flight Sim 
engine, added the necessary, and 
given us a series of missions set 
during the Second World War. 

It's traditonal stuff. You can fly 
for the RAF, the Luftwaffe or the 
US Army Air Force, each outfit 
using a couple of aircraft types, 
including Spitfires, Messerschmitts 
and Mustangs. Each has been 
lovingly simulated by the Seattle 
lads, right down to the 'schmitt's 
tendency to flip over on landing. 

To get the hang of your steed, 
there's a "free flight" option to 
practice taking off, landing and 
generally pointing your craft in the 
right direction. There's a "Quick 

Combat" choice, too, so you can 
dogfight with waves of enemies 
until you get shot down. Then, 
once you vaguely know what 
you're doing, there's the choice 
of missions, ranging from simple 
dogfights to ground-attack or 
escort. Finally, fly in a campaign - 
either the Battle of Britain, or the 
air war over Germany. 

In its basics the game looks 
much the same as Flight Simulator 
'98, but with different cockpits, 
obviously. It's even possible to use 
Flight Sim add-ons, so you can 
shoot down 747s over modern 
Chicago. All in all, then, predictably 
cracking stuff. Microsoft might not 
be fast, but when it does it, 
it does it right. ***** Mk 
Jim Chandler *"» 

by Robin Alway and Sam Richards 

Holster your six-shooter of frugality, don your ten-gallon hat of thriftiness and ride with us over to Cheapskate City. Who cares if your horse is 
knackered and fit only for glue? You don't have for to go to find the plains littered with a huge number of games re-released at budget price. 

Andretti Racing 

■ Publisher: EA Classics ■ Price: 
£12.99 ■ Release date: on sale 
now ■ Players: 1 

■ Despite claims to be an accurate 
sim of IndyCar racing, this Mario 
Andretti license remains a mindless 
track-screecher at heart. Sure, you 
can go back to your garage and 
tweak your vehicle set-up if you 
want, but essentially you're 
treated to a brash, bold display of 
Americana on wheels. Where F1 
tracks are narrow, crowded with 
cars and dangerously winding, 
IndyCar tracks are by nature walled- 
in ovals - no doubt great for family- 
group spectators, but if you're used 
to driving a PC you're going to find 
the experience unchallenging. 
Thankfully, EA has bunged in a 
couple of more stimulating circuits 
and a stock car option too, for an 
exhilarating alternative, *** 

Blood Omen: Legacy 
of Kain 

■ Publisher: Activision ■ Price: 
£9.99 ■ Release date: on sale 

now ■ Players: 1 

■ We can't help harbouring a soft 
spot for top-down RPG Blood 
Omen. It could be the self-indulgent 
voice-overs or the way you get to 
drink the blood of maidens. It may 
be the fact that undead hero Kain 
can transform into a wolf or a bat 
to reach new areas in the retro 
Gaunt/et-style realm of Nosgoth. 
But even behind the hammed-up 
cliches and the amusing tackiness, 
the original Legacy of Kain game 
can't hide its pitifully blocky visual 
engine. It's also frustrating that 
you're unable to save your progress 
except at designated "Save Shrines" 
underground, and the plot is linear 
and constricting. A sequel - Soul 
Reaver - is due soon. * * 

Cyberstorm 2: 
Corporate Wars 

■ Publisher: Sierra Originals ■ 

Price: £9.99 ■ Release date: on 
sale now ■ Players: 1-8 

■ Set in a galaxy where companies 
use stomping battle machines to 
colonise sectors of space, this sequel 
to Mission Force: Cyberstorm takes 
an overly complex look at top-down 
strategy You can play a turn-based 
or a real-time game. As one of 
eight outfits with different policies 
and tech, you're overwhelmed with 
resource options that would baffle 
an industrial consultant. Each game 
begins with you dispatching units 
for battle - robotic warriors you 
must build from lists of components. 
After working on your vehicles for 
so long you develop an attachment 
to them, but sadly the combat they 
experience is flat and uninspiring. 
Dark Reign is better. ** 

Dark Reign 

■ Publisher: Activision ■ Price: 
£9.99 ■ Release date: on sale 
now ■ Players: 1-2 

■ At a time when it looked like 
CSC Red Alert and WarCraft 2 
had the real-time strategy genre 
stitched-up, two games elbowed 
through the throng of clones to 
offer a genuine challenge: Total 
Annihilation and Dark Reign. The 
latter has a sci-fi setting, and a well- 
polished ethos. The interface is clear, 
and the missions intelligent Its only 
major failing is that it's too much 
like Command & Conquer, some of 
the graphics look the same, and 
troops respond to point-and-click 
deployment with similar phrases. 
Luckily, intricate Al and order-giving 
routines make it a noteworthy 
experience in its own right, and at 
this price strategy scavengers 
should munch it up. *** + 

The Full Wormage 

■ Publisher: MicroProse ■ Price: 
£29.99 ■ Release date: on sale 
now ■ Players: 1-6 

■ Comedy turn-based combat has 
fuelled the Worms concept since 
the early days of Amiga, and this 
compilation pack is designed to re- 
light the flame of admiration in time 
for developer Team 17 to launch 
Worms Armageddon. Worms 
United is the enhanced PC version 
of the original game, and Worms 2 
is, naturally, the 1997 sequel. They 
feature similar tiny pink soldiers on 
2D levels who take it in terms to 
shoot ludicrously powerful weapons 
at each other. As a bonus, the pack 
includes one table from Team 17's 
thrilling Addiction Pinbali title, which 
features icons and sounds from 
Worms 2. Colossal multi-player fun... 
but doesn't everyone own at least 
one Worms game by now? *** 

Player Manager 2 
Extra: Chase for Glory 

■ Publisher: Sold Out ■ Price: 
£4.99 ■ Release date: on sale 
now ■ Players: 1 

■ Combining the ancient Kick Off 
engine with a no-nonsense football 
management sim, Player Manager 2 
is a neat idea which disappoints in 
the execution. It's the same concept 
that was originally behind Soccer 
Nation, before the designer bottled 
it and removed the on-pitch arcade 
section. Even the most recent Player 
Manager is dedicated solely to 
management. Why? A good mix is 
hard to pull off, and games that try 
seem to fall between the camps, 
pleasing neither. As it is with Player 
Manager 2, all the boardroom 
spreadsheet elements are too 
shallow and the tackle-pass- 
shoot sections are dull and suffer 
from jerky animation. * 

Pod Gold 

■ Publisher: Ubisoft Classique ■ 
Price: £9.99 ■ Release date: on 
sale now ■ Players: 1-8 

■ When the original Pod came 
along in the spring of '97 it was 
hailed as a triumph of the "future 
racing" genre, though its marketing 
revolved around the novelty that it 
was specially designed for MMX 
machines. Now, of course, all new 
PCs are MMX-compatible, so the 
gimmick's worn thin. Fortunately, 
with the addition of 16 new tracks, 
eight vehicles, and enhanced Net- 
play options, the overhauled Pod 
Gold remains top fun. The circuits 
love to fox you, with dead-ends, 
roller-coaster falls and intersecting 
levels, and there are short-cuts to 
find. There's something thin and 
fragile about the cars, but you can't 
fault those high-energy, twisting 
track designs. *** 

Railroad Tycoon 

■ Publisher: Sold Out ■ Price: 
£4.99 ■ Release date: on sale 

now ■ Players: 1 

■ 5id Meier's strategy classic looked 
ropey when it came out over five 
years ago, and although the Deluxe 
edition added SVGA graphics, it still 
looks sub-Civilisation. You play an 
entrepreneur in the early 1800s, and 
must wrestle with other transport 
barons as each attempts to carve 
out a railway empire. North America, 
Eastern or Western American, South 
America, Africa and Europe are all 
territories ripe for exploitation, as 
you juggle investments, make up to 
32 types of train and lay tracks to 
shunt goods between industrialised 
cities. Some call it engrossing, 
others call it tedious. To top it all, 
the original Civ is less anal and also 
available on budget. ** 

Star Trek Federation 

■ Publisher: Interplay ■ Price: 
£29.99 ■ Release date: on sale 

now ■ Players: 1 

■ This is a clutch of the best-selling 
Star Trek tie-ins in one pack. The 
Next Gen titles are both decidedly 
average, particularly the over-rated 
Generations, which tries to blend 
adventure with brief first-person 
exploration episodes, failing to really 
captivate with either. Star Trek 25th 
Anniversary is a 2D point-and-click 
adventure, which is well plotted and 
offers suitable retro entertainment, 
although you may be put off by its 
self-indulgent Trekness. The real 
gems are Star Fleet Academy and 
the add-on pack, Chekov's Lost 
Missions. The FMV is tedious and 
the interface is overly complex, but 
there's nothing to beat the feeling 
of sitting in that chair. **** 

Pandemonium 2 

■ Publisher: Ubisoft Classique ■ 

Price: £12.99 ■ Release date: on 
sale now ■ Players: 1 

■ Every pixel in this run-and-jump 
"platform" game signals its tedious 
console heritage. Nikki, a mystical 
lass with a spring in her step, and 
her faithful sidekick Fargus are off 
saving their fantasy homeland from 
evil. As before, the action is on rails: 
that is, although the attractive 
visuals are ostensibly 3D, you can, 

in fact, only move backwards 
and forwards along a set path. 
Animated cut-scenes perpetuate in 
the superfluous storyline. Jumping 
on villain's heads and somersaulting 
to pick up rings is cute in a Sonic 
the Hedgehog sort of way, but the 
affair is less demanding than Manic 
Miner was nearly 15 years ago. * * 

MF"*-* '^HfrEr 


UFO: Enemy Unknown 

■ Publisher: Sold Out ■ Price: 
£4.99 ■ Release date: on sale 

now ■ Players: 1 

■ A little fragment of history 
for less than a fiver, UFO: Enemy 
Unknown has spawned a clutch 
of follow-ups and established the 
careers of many a MicroProse 
employee. The turn-based combat 
and lumpy low-res visuals may be a 
turn-off, but this is where X-COM 
began and if you're a fan, you must 
have this in your collection (if only to 
preserve a sense of credibility). Your 
task is to investigate alien sightings 
across the globe, visit crash sites, 
disable alien survivors and research 
new weapons, ready for when the 
invasion force arrives. UFO is slow 
and un-comely by today's standards, 
but the tactical depth is astonishing. 

World of Combat 

■ Publisher: Novalogic ■ Price: 
£34.99 ■ Release date: on sale 
now ■ Players: 1-100 

■ Nova Logic has built a rep as a 
developer that can blend authentic 
military simulation with top-whack 
fun. So it is with Comanche 3, F22 
Raptor and Armored Fist 2, which 
are exceptional helicopter, jet fighter 
and tank games, respectively. Not 
only are they based on genuine 
military specs, but the mission 
structures and control interfaces 
are designed to make combat easy, 
even if you're a beginner. Although 
all three possess the blockiness 
fundamental to voxel-based 
landscaping, it doesn't matter when 
you can connect to the Nova World 
online gaming server and take 

on scores of opponents in one 
Integrated arena. ***** 

January | 1999 | Arcade 1 137 




Ocarina of Time 

■ Publisher: Nintendo ■ Developer: Nintendo 

■ Price: £49.99 ■ Release date: on sale now ■ Players: 1 

■ Extras: Rumble Pak 

Mar/o-creator Shigeru Miyamoto's latest game has 
arrived in a thick cloud of excitement, with many 
calling it the best videogame ever. Well, is it? 

And so, after three long years of Zelda fans yanking 
clumps of rapidly-greying hair out of their tender 
scalps, one of the most delayed, hyped and coveted 
videogames ever finally arrives on the Nintendo 64. 
But was it worth the wait? Has Shigeru Miyamoto - 
surely the Spielberg of videogames - created the 
masterpiece that everyone was expecting? 

Nintendo's second place to Sony in the UK means that 
no matter how good Ocarina of Time is, it probably won't 

■ Navi, the little winged Tinkerbell type, changes colour when 
danger's near, alerting Link. She's a good friend to have around. 

shift as many copies as Tomb Raider III, Crash Bandicoot or 
the other PlayStation blockbusters released this Christmas. 
And it's unlikely to singlehandedly create a whole new 
market for the Nintendo 64, either. 

But Ocarina of Time deserves to do all this and more. 
And why? Because, quite simply, it's so very far ahead of 
anything on the PlayStation it utterly defies comparison. 

Iut let's not get carried away. Isn't this just an RPG? All 
the signs are here: a kingdom about to be plunged into 
darkness, sacred stones, fairies and - suspiciously - a 
hero with pointy ears called Link. But fear not, because 
this is anything but a true role player. The Zelda games, as 
they started out on the NES - and later, the SNES and Game 
Boy - have always been action-orientated adventures at 
heart (although the Japanese confusingly call this genre the 
action-RPG). And this 3D incarnation is true to form, with its 
blend of combat, exploration and character interaction. 

There were fears that this 3D Zelda would feel different 
from its forebears, more like the Miyamoto-designed 
Super Mario 64. They were valid fears, too. 
After all, what were previously two entirely 
different 2D genres - one a side-on 
platformer {Mario), and the other an 
overhead adventure - could easily have 
been pulled far too close together by 
Nintendo's technology-driven application 
of snazzy 3D paint. Thankfully, this hasn't 
happened. Apart from a similar behind-the- 
character, third-person perspective to 
Mario 64, this is very much Zelda as 
we all know it - except it goes way 
beyond previous installments. 

Perhaps more so than in the 
old 2D outings, this new 
Zelda's combat is 

complicated but rewarding. Playing Link, you pick up a 
variety of weapons along the way (including swords, 
shields, a slingshot and a boomerang), then take on all 
manner of foes - from small skeletons and spiders, to 
gigantic, end-of -section bosses. And the combination 
of switched perspectives (including first-person for the 
targeting of certain weapons) means that you'll need 
considerable practise if you're to stop the evil Ganondorf 
getting his mitts on the Triforce - the source of all energy 
in Link's world of Hyrule. 

But let's rewind for a moment. Things kick off in the 
cutesy surroundings of 
Kokiri forest - a village 
bustling with sprightly, 
impish characters who 
impart goodies and 
information (such as 
weapons and basic combat 
skills) to start you on your 
way. After exploring a huge 

dying tree - one of the game's many dungeons, packed 
with puzzles and monsters - you'll break into a castle, 

where you'll meet the eponymous and 
similarly pointy-eared Princess Zelda. But 
these sections are just invigorating warm- 
up exercises - littered with helpful hints 
and training exercises - to gently 
shoehorn you into the incredible world 
that Miyamoto's team has created. 

After years of running around the 
restrictive, tunnel-like environments of 
most 3D games, adapting to the new level 
of 3D freedom Zelda 64 offers is akin to 
having been shut in a dark room for days 


f] Uppers & 
4* Downers 


■ Magnificent 

■ Thoroughly 
engrossing story 

■ Packed with 
surprises and 

■ You'll lose your 
mates (possibly 
your job too) 


3 I ■* 

The end bosses are huge, like this 
dragon (above). Link has to complete 
sub-quests along the way (below). 



January) 1999| Arcade 1 139 



and then stepping into the bright sunlight, to be confronted 
with a view of beautiful rolling hills. Link's world is vast, and 
positively drenched in realistic effects and detail. The sun 
rises and sets convincingly, casting shadows and bathing the 

scenery in sumptuous hues. 
Mountains tower into the 
sky, rivers flow, birds chirp - 
and hours pass by as you 
wander around taking in 
the wonder of it all. The 
best visuals on the N64 yet? 
Without a doubt. 

There are also enough 
genuinely brilliant - and 
original - ideas in Ocarina 
of Time to force even 
the most talented non- 
Nintendo game designer to eat humble pie for months. The 
time travel feature is an ingenious case in point. In the first 
quarter of the game, you control Link as an innocent, 
sprightly nipper; it's not until you collect three "spiritual 
stones" that you'll be warped seven years forward to 
control him as a teenager - now faced with a scarier, more 
challenging quest. And if you want a sniff of the action 
much later on, you'll need to make repeated trips to the 
Temple of Time to travel back and forth between the two 
time zones. And then there's the Ocarina itself. What an 
innovation! Throughout the game, you'll be required to play 

■ Zelda has plenty in the way of innovative combat. Lock on to 
a foe with your targeting system to keep him in front of you. 

a variety of tunes (that you learn along the way) by 
tapping the yellow buttons on the N64's pad in the correct 
sequence. These tunes can be used for many things, such 
as summoning Epona, your horse, making friends with 
strangers and even - in the case of the Sun Song - 
changing day to night, and vice versa. It's desperately 
childish, cloyingly cute and it'll have you grinning from ear 
to ear every time you try it. The gorgeous cut-scenes that 
are spread throughout the adventure will impress too, 
endowing the story with a grace and charm that other, 
subsequent adventures will find near-impossible to match. 

That this latest version of Zelda is subtitled Ocarina of 
Time is no accident. Nintendo isn't joking - this game will 
drain serious amounts of your time if you're prepared to 
see it through to its conclusion. A conservative estimate 
has it that playing the quickest route is around 60 hours 
worth, and far more if you want to experience Zelda's 
wealth of bonuses and entertaining sub-games. There's 
value-for-money to be had here, that's for sure. 

Is Ocarina of Time for everyone? Well, perhaps not - 
ultimately, this is an interactive storybook whose pages 
are steeped in the inimitable Nintendo style. Yet for those 
who love Nintendo, it is just about The Best Thing Ever. It's 
immediately accessible yet staggeringly deep; it's gloriously 
cute, while somehow managing to be perhaps the most 
sophisticated, grown up game of all. It's a rich, emotive 
experience that's been crafted with such wit, intelligence 
and love (yes, love!), that it's near impossible not to fall 
deeply under its spell. Try and resist it and you really will 
be cutting off your nose to spite your face. The Best 
Videogame of All Time? Well, yes. 

And if you haven't got an N64? Go and buy one. 0k 
Trust me, it'll be worth it. • • • * • Jason Brookes MP* 

Travelling between the two times zones, you'll find the very same locations, subtly altered. 

Or you 
could try. 

Mystical Ninja 
Konami **** 

RPG-come-platformer with great Japanese 
humour and lush graphics. 

Quest 64 

Konami ** 

Flawed pretender to trie Zelda throne. 

Predictable action RPG tat 

140 1 Arcade | January | 1 999 



Tt T 





* 0' 3 




♦ §#«» 




* 1 ■"! 

.^ <J£4/?5 

V-Rally '99 

■ Publisher: Infogrames ■ Developer: Eden Studios 

■ Price: £40 ■ Release date: on sale now ■ Players: 1-2 

■ Extras: Rumble Pak, steering wheel 

The game considered by many to be better than 
Sega Rally finally makes it to the N64 after racking 
up phenomenal sales figures on the PlayStation. 
And a damn fine conversion it is too. 

Rallying is a very different sport to Formula One. Can 
you imagine a pampered F1 superstar changing his 
own tyres? Reading a map? Encouraging spectators 
to help push his car out of a mud-filled ditch - or off 
the body of one of their fallen comrades? Of course 
not. Rallying is dirty and dangerous and the prospect 
of a season consisting of regular night races through forests, 
along icy alpine passes, in torrential rain, fog, or blizzards 
would send an F1 driver cowering to his shrink - or, more 
likely, screaming at his agent via a mobile phone. So, 
obviously, it makes for terrific videogame entertainment. 
V-Rally '99 simulates this rallying experience accurately. 
The handling is spot on (especially if you play using a 
steering wheel), with skilful use of the handbrake, opposite 
lock skids and a good measure of fearlessness among the 
attributes necessary to keep your car on the road, let 
alone actually mount a challenge on the leader-board. 
Unsurprisingly, then, the control methods are incredibly 
difficult to learn, but once you've got the hang of things, 
swinging your high-powered vehicle around slick hairpin 
bends can be incredibly satisfying. 

Indeed, if you do manage to overcome the initial 
frustration that comes with a game requiring such precision 
and concentration that even the slightest accidental twitch 

of the joystick in the wrong place is enough to send your 
car spinning out of control (even on a relatively straight part 
of the track), then you'll find a huge challenge awaiting you. 
V-Rally '99 is a big game, in terms of both the number of 
different courses and the variety of different vehicles. 

Skilful performances in the Arcade and Championship 
modes gradually unlock a total of 19 cars in four categories, 
ranging from simple front-wheel drive vehicles to super- 
powerful 4WD monsters. You can tweak and customise 
everything, from the 

■ Like real high-performance 
rally cars, your "rides" in V- 
Rally '99 take some getting 
used to. Stick at it, though, 
and you'll soon be taking 
corners as tight as you like. 

stiffness of the suspension 
to the gear ratios, and 
knowing how to set the car 
up for each of the 24 tracks 
is essential for mastery of 
the time trial sections. 

The game moves at a considerable pace, and the 
graphics are pleasingly smooth and realistic throughout. The 
headlight effect during night stages is especially convincing, 
although if the car flies up in the air after a bad crash it's 
glaringly obvious that there is absolutely no scenery beyond 
the track walls - just an expanse of white, empty space. The 
way bits of the landscape pop up from nowhere on certain 
stages is another somewhat disappointing reminder that 
you're only playing a computer game, but for the most 
part, the illusion remains intact. 

V-Rally '99 is a game you'll have to really work at to get 
the most out of. It doesn't have the pick up and play appeal 
of something like F-Zero X, but it'll increase your blood 
pressure every bit as much. More, probably, given the fact 
that you'll spend your first couple of hours concocting 
innovative new curses to bestow on the programmers. But 
you'll grow to love it. * * * * Martin Kitts 


Or you 
could try. 

Top Gear Rally 

I Nintendo**** 

I Wot quite jo tricky to control, but then tt 

I quite so much long-term depth. 

F1 World Grand Prix 

Nintendo ***** 

Okay, so its not a rally game. But it is the best 

real-world driving game forNSA. 

"h Uppers & 
H' Downers 


■ Lots of cars to 
get to grips with 

■ It looks lovely 

■ And there's lots 
(and lots) of it 


■ It takes a long 
time to master 

■ No, really. It 
takes ages 

January | 1999 1 Arcade 1 141 

New Nintendo 64 Games 











^j Uppers & 
•i" Downers 

After burner 

■ Great 

■ Fantastic 
analogue control 

Heart burner 

■ Fewer tracks 
than competition 

■ More clipping 
than any other 
N64 game 

■ A bit dated 


■ Publisher: Midway ■ Developer: Psygnosis 

■ Price: £39.99 ■ Release date: January ■ Players: 1-4 

■ Extras: Memory Pak, Rumble Pak 

After much behind-the-scenes wrangling, WipEout 
makes its Nintendo debut. But with F-Zero X already 
scorching N64's all over the country, is there really 
any need for it? 

There can be no other game that sums up the 
PlayStation as succinctly as WipEout Indeed, without 
Psygnosis' futuristic racer showing the world exactly 
what PlayStation's graphics hardware was capable of, 
it's very possible that Sony wouldn't be in the enviable 
position it's in today. You need games like WipEout to 
start momentum building, and that's exactly what it did. Its 
funky mix of speed, realism, futurism and, of course, the 
most fashionable soundtrack ever to grace a videogame, 
helped leave Sega stuck in the blocks with the Saturn, and 
Sony safely past step one of its plan to dominate the world. 

Three years and a PlayStation sequel later, WipEout has 
turned up in a completely new form on the N64 - Sony's 

latest arch rival. How much of a rumpus this has caused 
between Psygnosis and its major shareholder, Sony, can be 
measured in the game's traumatic birth. 

Originally slated for a November release on Psygnosis' 
own label, Sony wasn't happy with the idea of a company 
that it owns a large stake in making games for the 
opposition. Pressure was bought to bear and WipEout was 
touted around most of the world's leading publishers, until 
Midway finally stumped up enough cash to secure it. By the 
time the situation had been sorted out, however, the game 
had missed its all-important manufacturing slot at 
Nintendo's plant, cancelling its Christmas. 

But now it's finally here. So let's take a look and see 
what we've got. 

Building from PlayStation's WipEout 2097, WipEout 64 
has seven new tracks and an all-new soundtrack. It uses 
much the same race structure as the PlayStation game, in 
which five racing teams compete Grand Prix-style using 
a range of futuristic hovery, floaty spaceships. These 
spaceships start off fairly easy to pilot, but quickly become 
trickier - it's the time-honoured trade-off between speed 
and handling - as you advance. And if more proof were still 
needed that Nintendo's analogue stick offers the finest 
game control yet, it's here. Gamers who spent frustrating 
hours mastering WipEout 2097s digital directional control 

142 | Arcade | January 1 1999 

will revel in the smooth, precise, more natural analogue 
handling on offer here. Taking corners is a far more 
instinctive affair than it was on PlayStation, even if the 
penalties for touching the sides are as harsh as ever 
(experienced F-Zero X fans will find this aspect a particularly 
teeth-grating experience). 

Where WipEout 64 really pulls ahead of its previous 
PlayStation versions, however, is in its two-, three- or four- 
player split-screen games. These add a much-needed human 
element to an otherwise fairly dry concept. The two-player 
option is by far the best, losing the least trackside detail and 
speed, while enabling players to make maximum use of the 
game's missiles, quake disruptors and other power-ups. 
Four-player is great fun, too - even if the game's restrictive 
PAL borders reduce each player's individual screen to 
postage stamp proportions. 

Six months ago, the N64 had a shortage of serious racing 
games. With the recent release of F1 World Grand Prix, 
V-Rally, Extreme G2 and F-Zero X - and with Top Gear 
Overdrive also on the horizon - there's now a dogfight for 


the top spot. The main competition to WipEout 64 has to be 
Nintendo's F-Zero X which, with its 24 tracks and random 
track generator, appears to have WipEout 64 on the run. 
F-Zero X is also faster, smoother and, with 29 other craft all 
racing at the same time, far more action packed. 

However, Psygnosis' old champion has two trump cards 
that keep it in contention. First, while F-Zero's tracks have 
been created at the expense of background detail, WipEout 
positively revels in throwing around extraneous detail and 
wowing the player with pretty backdrops. It looks great 
Second, its system of defensive and offensive power-ups - 
while hardly an innovation - adds lots to the multiplayer 
modes, even against the CPU, that you might miss in F-Zero. 

So buy it if you like F-Zero X and want more that's 
similar, or if you simply want to see what all the fuss was 
about back in '95. It may not be the best racing game out 
there, but it's really not bad at all. * • * James Ashton 

Or you 
could try, 

F-Zero X 

Nintendo **** 

Fastest game in the world. 24 tracks and a 

random back generator. Superb. 

XG2: Extreme G2 

Acclaim *** 

Improved update of original. Great multi- 
player and battle mode. Somewhat soulless. 

■ One obvious advantage WipEout 64 has over its PlayStation 
cousins is its simultaneous four-player split-screen option. 

'Jj Uppers & 
v Downers 


■ Top-notch graphics 
and sounds 

■ Picks up quite a speed 


■ Horrendous slow-down 
at points 

Hi Lacks a proper feeling of 
being in control 


XG2: Extreme G 2 

■ Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment ■ Developer: 
Probe ■ Price: £40 ■ Release date: on sale now 

■ Players: 1-4 

A year on from speedy motorbike space-racer 
Extreme G, the time has come for Acclaim to cash 
in on its success. The sequel's got the looks, the 
sounds and the speed. But how does it play? 

nd so the repeating cycle of futuristic racers goes 
on. F-Zero on the Super Nintendo invented them (in 
the modern era, at least), WipEout made them cool 
and Extreme G updated them for the N64. Now, 
with Nintendo's machine host to both F-Zero X and 
WipEout 64, it's Acclaim's turn to prove itself again 
with Extreme G's sequel. 

From the beginning of the first race, where the space- 
age motorbikes shimmer in the glow of pulsating neon 
lights, and a distant loudspeaker warns riders to 
"stand by", there's no doubting that here we have 
a visual feast. And it's fast - the speed dial has 
been turned down slightly since episode one, 
but the twisting, looping and sinister tracks 
still whip by at a face-flapping velocity. 
Almost inevitably, though, Probe's 
love of cosmetics has suffocated the 
actual game. The use of distant fog helps 
maintain speed and masks pop-up, but obscures the view 
of the track ahead. Despite this, the presence of a few 
other bikes on screen is enough to cause the frame rate 
to plummet, and using any of the missile-based weapons 
almost brings proceedings to a complete halt. 

Somewhere, though, buried beneath this graphical 
hotch-potch, is some exhilarating racing with your 
computer opponents providing decent competition 
without dishonest bursts of acceleration. Get a bit of 
speed up (and avoid anything that might slow the 
graphics down), and you'll really feel like you're racing. 

Sadly, though, there's the niggling feeling (as you 
rebound off wall after wall), that you're not completely in 
control of your vehicle. And oddly, with the bikes now 
able to drive the wrong way round the track, a high- 
speed trackside-clip results in the vehicle stopping dead 
and flipping 180° to face the oncoming traffic. As the 
game's jerkiness occasionally makes keeping to the track 
near-impossible, this happens more often that you'd like. 

It's this sort of irritating and unnecessary element that 
makes XG2 a missed opportunity. With racing veteran 
F-Zero X sticking two fingers up at young pretenders such 
as this and WipEout 64, there's simply no need to put up 
with XG2's assortment of frustrating niggles, faults and 
flaws. *** Mark Green 

Or you 
could try.. 

F-Zero X 

| if you like your racing fast and futuristic, 
I this is the boy for you. 


Midway * * 

Janua^| 1999 1 Arcade 1 143 

New Nintendo 64 Games 

■ The TV show's introduction 
is recreated for the start of 
the game, complete with 
batsarse theme song and all 
your favourite characters. 

South Park 

■ Your radar (bottom left of 
the screen) shows you where 
your friends and enemies are 
as you wander around. 

■ Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment ■ Developer: 
Iguana ■ Price: £39.99 ■ Release date: February 

■ Players: 1-4 ■ Extras: Rumble Pak, Memory Pak, 4Mb 
Expansion Pak 

We all had reason to be worried when Iguana 
promised to knock out South Park in a few short 
months. Can this hastily-built 3D shooter realise the 
potential of the TV show's demented genius? 

Videogames make you swear. There's no getting 
away from it. Ever since Pong, frustrated 
gameplayers have been turning the air such a 
potent shade of blue that even Dulux's Super Blue 
#143 ("Now That's What I Call Blue") can't match it. 
But South Park is probably the first time you'll 
hear a videogame swearing at you. Watching Kenny's 
decapitated head disappearing down an iguana's gullet on 
the intra screen, and then hearing Stan yell, "This is pretty 
f-b/eep/-ked up right here," (yes, the "fucked" is beeped 
out, presumably at Nintendo's bidding) and then, "You 
bastards!" will have you frantically turning the volume 
down in case the neighbours are listening. But, at the same 
time, you'll be giggling like a school-girl. 

If you're not sure why witnessing small children shout 
"Ass-licker!" and "I... am... so... pissed" is hilarious, go and read 
our South Park history on page 32. Done that? Still can't see 
the humour? Then you'll probably never appreciate how 
incredibly funny Iguana's game can be. Each character has a 
bulging inventory of perfectly-sampled cusses to direct at 
enemies, and they explode out of your TV's speaker at 
every opportunity. Simply throwing snowballs, say, at one 
of the four main characters over and over again, resulting in 
a barrage of swearing and four-letter 
name calling, is almost a game's worth of 
entertainment in itself. 

Another great thing about South Park 
the game is its 3D world. Utilising Iguana's 
state-of-the-art Turok 2 engine, the leap 
from two dimensions to three has been 
made with ease. The characters look 
great in 3D and lose nothing of their 2D 
personas. All the familiar buildings and 
landmarks are here, too, and it's fun 
simply wandering around South Park 
exploring the place for yourself. It's a bit 
like visiting the Granada TV studios and 
taking a walk down Coronation Street. 

But there's a but. In fact, there are two 
big buts (and I'm not talking about 
Cartman and his mum). 

<|j Uppers & 
H' Downers 

First class 

■ The world 
looks great in 3D 

■ Brilliant cut- 
scenes and 
hilarious speech 

■ Enjoyable 
(kinda) multi- 
player deathmatch 

Dumb ass 

■ The levels lack 
variety, and even 
repeat in places 

■ The best 
characters only 
appear in multi- 

■ All you have to 
do is walk forward 
and press the fire 

144 1 Arcade | January 1 1 999 

The first major problem is the actual game - it's boring. 
If you need a point of reference for the gameplay, think 
Space Invaders. On each of the game's 20-something levels, 
hordes of identical-looking enemies launch themselves 
toward you, single file, waiting to be shot. You oblige, walk 
a little bit further, and the same thing happens again. And 
again. And it goes on for hours, until your eyes 
are drooping and your trigger finger is 
hanging limply from its joint. Over the 
hour or so that it takes to complete level 
one, for example, all you'll see in the way 
of enemies is a baby turkey, a mummy 
turkey and the boss - a great big, the- 
dinner daddy of a turkey. 

Eventually, you'll reach the end of a level, 
start the next one, enjoy - briefly - the new 
scenery and weapon, but then descend once 
more into the quagmire of tedium that is 
blasting an infinite number of exactly the same 
thing. Even the weapons are a disappointment. There are 
toilet plungers and cow launchers, which sound fun enough, 
but in actual fact all do pretty much the same thing - and 
have none of the anarchic, blood-soaked, l-shouldn't-be- 
laughing-at-this-but-l-can't-help-it nastiness of the TV 
show. Which brings me on to my second big criticism... 

This game. It sounds like South Park. It looks like South 
Park. But is sure as hell doesn't feel like South Park. 

Take the game world itself. Like I said, wondering around 
looking at the scenery is interesting enough. But what do 
you get to dol Almost nothing. Why can't you smash the 
windows of the houses with snowballs? Why can't you go 
and find any of the other South Park characters? Why can't 

you swear at passers by? Why can't you have any furrt 

This is a license that cries out for a game that lets you 

explore off the beaten path. Then it wouldn't matter if the 

missions were dull and repetitive. The game world of South 

Park should be a living, breathing city - full of distractions, 

sub-games and cool things to do - but instead it's a ghost 

town. And a terrible waste of an opportunity. 

Luckily, if the one-player game has ignored the 
essence of South Park, then the multi-player has filled 
a bath with it and jumped right in. The disappointing 
weapons remain, but the chance for you and three 
friends to each pick 

a character and 
then run around 
shooting (and 
swearing) at each 
other is very 
welcome. If only 


it didn't creak along at a frame rate so slow that 
aiming and moving become almost impossible, it would 
rescue the whole thing. 

So where does this leave us? For die-hard fans of the TV 
show there is enough here to entertain. Just. For the rest, 
look no further than the reaction of all those who have 
crept into the Arcade office to see it. They laugh at first - 
at Chef's cut-scenes, at the swearing - and then, after a 
few minutes of watching the game descend into monotony, 
they wander away. "That's a shame," they mutter as they 
slouch off. And the motherf-fa/eep.'-king, ass-licking bastards 
are f-b/eep.'-king right. ■*•• Mark Green 


■ It's a shame that the game 
world in South Park is so 
static. What makes a great 
videogame is not so much 
what you see as what you get 
to do. Unfortunately, all you 
get to do in South Park is 
wonder around throwing 
things at armies of enemies. 

January | 1999 1 Arcade 1 145 

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January | 1999 1 Arcade 1 147 

New Nintendo 64 Games 


■ Publisher: Ubisoft 

■ Developer: Vivid Image 

■ Price: £49.99 ■ Release date: 
on sale now ■ Players: 1-4 

■ Extras: Controller Pak, 
Rumble Pak 

Super Computer Animal 
Racing: the strangest 
acronym in the world rolls 
into town. It's up against 
some f righteningly stiff 
opposition, though. 

■ If you were around in the days 
of SNES vs Mega Drive you should 
remember a game called Street 
Racer. Built as Ubisoft's answer to 
Mario /Cart, it boasted a set of 
similar go-karts, racing on a set of 
similar tracks. Where the French 
pretender differed to Nintendo's 
masterpiece was in attitude; it had 
much nastier characters, bigger 
weapons and not a single cute 
green dinosaur in sight. It was also 
not nearly as good. 

Playing S.CA.R.S. brings back 
Street Racer memories. The titular 
"Super Computer Animal Racing" 
translates to a set of nine giant 
animal-based four-wheel-drive 
"things", racing around nine tracks, 
each trying to finish first while 
trying to blow the obligatory 
seven shades out of one another. 
In 64-bit glory, of course. The 
proceedings are in lush 3D and 
the weapons - a mixture of pick- 
up missiles and lay-down traps - 
explode in Technicolor splendour. 
However, despite the fact that - 
without resorting to fog effects - 
designer Vivid Image has done 
an admirable job at preventing 
any pop-up during the races. 
Street Racer's old problem has 
come back to haunt the game. 

With any racer, success starts 
with the handling authenticity of 
the craft you're driving. In Street 
Racer's case, it felt as if your kart 
was being held stationary in the 
centre of the screen, and your left 
and right controls were altering 
the orientation of the track 
around it; the game always felt as 
if you were racing on the spot. In 
S.CA.R.S, where the controlled car 
never moves from the centre of 
the screen, you'll feel that same 
disorientating experience. 

Get over this though, and 
S.CA.R.S. is an enjoyable, though 
imperfect, one-player affair. There 
are plenty of tactics to master, 
and the game's scoring system - 
based on power-up use and race 
times - ensures there's plenty to 
come back to. Where SCARS. 
excels, however, is in its two, three 
and four-player modes. Providing 
that each of your opponents has 
a good working knowledge of 
the game, there's an excellent 

Bust-a-Move 3 DX 

■ Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment ■ Developer: 
Distinctive Developments ■ Price: £40 ■ Release date: 
on sale now ■ Players: 1-4 

Gaming goes back to basics with the third - and 
best - Nintendo edition of the bubble-burster... 

If you've never played Bust-A-Move, here's how it 
works: you have a split screen, and each side is full of 
coloured balls. You shoot further randomly coloured 
balls up to the balls at the top of your half of the 
screen. Match three like-coloured balls and they vanish. 
Bust-A-Move is a work of simplistic genius. The 
gameplay of version 2 on the N64 was just as remarkable, 
but the package lacked shine. This threequel has come 
straight from the arcades, fresh-faced and all-new, so any 
tweaks have been made with the N64 in mind. 

There's a new hi-res four-player mode (although the 
rest of the game is in normal viewing format), where four 
ball-packed rectangles sit side-by-side, and also a Story 
mode. And, while this mode - where the number of 
rounds you win against the too-easy CPU opponent 
affects the direction the tale takes - might not necessarily 
appeal to everyone, it does mean that Bust-A-Move 3 has 
lots of extra playing options missing from its predecessor. 

The game also includes two two-player games. Arcade 
is a quick-draw best of three and the snappily monickered 
Two-Player has unlimited rounds, 
effectively enabling you to burst 
bubbles until one (or both) of 
you reaches retirement age. 

So no, it isn't an amazing all- 
singing, all-dancing 3D epic, but, 
should you manage to pick it up 
on the cheap, Bust-A-Move 3 is a 
burst of fresh air. Aaahhh. 
• ••• Tim Weaver 

'fj Uppers & 
4* Downers 


■ Simple and yet still so 
effortlessly engrossing 

■ New four-player mode 

■ Lots more extra modes 


■ Lack of a really taxing 
computer challenge 

■ Too single-minded to be to 
everyone's tastes, perhaps 

Or you 
could try.. 

multi-player experience to be had. 
Okay, it's not up to the standards 
of Mario Kart or F-Zero X, but it's 
better than Diddy Kong Racing. 
As racers go this Christmas, 
F-Zero X, V-Rally '99, F1 World 
Grand Prix and 7080° all out-gun 
SCARS But if you're looking for 
something that's a little different 
- especially when it comes to the 
control methods - you could do a 
lot worse. * * * James Ashton 


Ocean **** 

Cracking watered down take on Tetris 

Vet again. 

&^F5WW^Pj K^m WW 

K ..A, 


■ Publisher: THQ ■ Developer: 
Asmik ■ Price: £40 

■ Release date: on sale now 

■ Players: 1-4 

We know you're waiting for 
a load of jokes about greasy 
men in Spandex pants, but 
we couldn't stoop so low. 

■ So, here's another game based 
around Spandex-clad, half-naked, 
muscle-laden, greasy blokes, all 
pretending to smack each other 
up. Inexplicably, every game of 
this nature enters the charts at 
number one, giving the publishers 
that produce them a license to 
keep churning out half-cocked, 



■ The two-player version of Bust-A-Move 3 is as insanely 
addictive as ever, but it's the extra options in 3 - including 
Story and the hi-res four-player - that add some new fun. 

ill-conceived updates of previous 
titles. THQ - whose livelihood 
depends entirely on its grappling 
titles - is a big offender. 

WCW Vs NWO Revenge is a 
'98 update of WCW/NWO World 
Tour. The graphics are much the 
same, with only the crowd and 
"wrestler entrances" showing any 
extra detail. There are some more 
opponent-battering weapons to 
grab from the crowd, but there's 
little chance to take advantage of 
them. The inclusion of almost 100 
characters just makes up for the 
lack of a create-a-player mode - 
of the sort you'd find in Acclaim's 
WWF Warzone. But only just. 

A much-needed injection of 
speed saves the game from a 
complete drubbing, though. The 
wrestlers skate about the ring and 
execute moves at a pace, pulling 
off their limited actions as though 
late for an appointment at the 
greasing salon. Unfortunately, the 
matches themselves haven't been 
invited to this speed party, and 
can stretch on for anything up to 
a painfully drawn-out 20 minutes. 

Still, there're plenty of options, 
tourneys and hidden characters, 

and the bone-crunching nature 
of the fights is satisfying. Also in 
Revenge's favour is the multi- 
player mode, which provides more 
laughs per play than Postman's 
Knock - any game that offers the 
opportunity to grab a large man's 
legs and pull them apart at the 
crotch can't help but be funny. 

However, it took us just a few 
hours of play to extract and beat 
all the secret tournaments and 
characters. After that, even with 
the host of features that make 
short-term play more interesting 
(mid-fight appearances by other 
wrestlers, a handful of special 
moves), Revenge is like a Hulk 
Hogan movie - okay to dip into, 
but liable to bring on a coma if 
you spend more than an hour in 
front of it. ••* Simon Garner 


^^HEV-iY!.-,* 8 


148 1 Arcade | January | 1999 

NBA Jam 99 

■ Publisher: Acclaim 
Entertainment ■ Developer: 
Iguana ■ Price: £45 ■ Release 
date: on sale now 

■ Players: 1-4 

There's a basket. There's 
a ball. And there's a jolly 
green-haired giant called 
Dennis. Just what kind of 
a crazy sport is this? 

■ You'd have a pretty hard time 
convincing the average Briton of 
this, but once basketball gets into 
its stride, it's a surprisingly fast, 
exciting and addictive sport. It still 
includes plenty of frustrating 
aspects, but because it's one of 
America's least plodding games, a 
skillful developer can plonk it into 
a videogame that's worth playing. 

In terms of options, bells and 
whistles, Jam won't disappoint 
even the most anal basketball 
fanatic. You can alter time-outs, 
travelling rules and foul options at 
will, call up action replays from a 
customisable camera at any time, 
and the Jam option supplies fast- 
paced, flames-on-the-ball arcade 
action. It's all rendered in uber- 
detailed hi-res, and the motion- 
captured players look and play like 
their leggy real-life eguivalents. 

Jam's controls are more 
complicated than those of, say, 
Courtside, but they are intuitive 
and comprehensive, and make 
guiding your beanpoles around 
the court, passing and calling 
plays, more akin to the real game. 
Actually getting the ball in the 
hoop is trickier than it should be, 
and it mysteriously vanishes from 
time to time, reappearing halfway 
down the court, but the feeling of 
control is admirable. 

But if attacking is a dream, 
defending is a nightmare. Iguana 
has created CPU opponents who 
are equal in ability to the Dream 
Team which "whups everybody's 
ass" at the Olympics. And as you 
struggle to make out which player 
you're controlling, your N64 will be 
stretching its lead to triple-figures. 

Jam 99 is a game you need 
to work at. Over time, defending 
becomes easier, and matches less 
like the basketball equivalent of 
ping-pong. It's hard, but it's good 
to see a sports game where you 
need to put in some real effort to 
win. * * * * Simon Garner 

■ Pit your crayon and 
spray paint creations 
against each other in a 
battle to the waxy end. 



Rakuga Kids 

■ Publisher: Konami ■ Developer: Konami 

■ Price: £39.99 ■ Release date: on sale now 

■ Players: 1-2 

Originally thought to be too quirky for 
straight-thinking Western folk, Konami 
brings you the world's first, only and 
(probably) last graffiti-based fighter. 

The wait for that 7e/c/cen-matching N64 
beat-'em-up continues. But while you're 
biding your time over the long months 
ahead you could do a lot worse than to 
sample something that doesn't even try 
to take on the established Namco and 
Capcom grand masters at their own game. 
And that something could be Rakuga Kids. 

But first of all you've got to make sure your 
understanding of fighting is broad enough to 
include snot-bubble blowing teddy bears that 
turn into tanks, rotating chicken hat weapons 
and, in fact, the whole premise of a set of 2D 
kid's drawings laying into each other. 

The main protagonists are graffiti-spraying 
kids, but the one-on-one fighting takes place 
between their drawings. In looks, it's similar to 
PaRappa the Rapper, although there's also a 
touch of Yoshi's Island about the whole game. 

And the inventiveness doesn't stop there. 
The characters' special attacks, traditionally a 

time where beat-'em-ups descend into 
fireballs and blood spilling, involve drawing 
something dangerous (like dynamite) and 
setting it on an opponent. 

On paper, at least, the fighting system 
that's buried underneath all that crayon is 
surprisingly solid, too, following the classic 
light, medium and heavy punch and kick 
approach pioneered by Street Fighter 2. The 
only real problem comes from the cartoon 
cut-out nature of the seven characters on 
offer. They float about, they blow trumpets 
instead of throwing punches and, with all 
manner of animated nonsense occurring on 
screen, it's difficult to see if any damage is 
actually being done. Some Tom and Jerry, or 
better still, Itchy and Scratchy-like grief here 
wouldn't have gone amiss. 

That said, if you can embrace the fact that 
it veers alarming from traditional scrapping 
territory into a candy coloured world of its 
own, there's plenty to like about Rakuga Kids. 
It's got a lot of ways to play, including a story 
option and a training mode that lets you coach 
a character and then have him fight the CPU 
without your input. On sheer imagination 
alone, Rakuga is intriguingly different enough 
to be worth a curious look, and adds strength 
to the humble crayon's role as the writing 
implement of the insane. • • • Robin Alway 

f Uppers & 
v Downers 

Aerosol art 

■ Imaginative characters 
and moves 

■ Surprisingly sound fighting 

■ Completely unique 

Bunch of arse 

■ Not fighting as you know it 

■ Indistinct blows 

■ Possibly a bit too unique 

■ Gets very jerky 

Or you 
could try. 

Fighters Destiny 

Infogrames **** 

Not quite Tekken, but still the 

best N64 fight going. 

Yoshi's Story 

Nintendo **** 
Childlike platforming, but all 
over criminally soon. 

January | 1999 | Arcade 1 149 




■ Maker: Sega ■ Developer: Sega Ami 

■ Release date: out now ■ Players: 1-2 

Twenty-four years after the seminal 
Jaws put most of us off a casual dip 
at Brighton beach, Sega has decided 
that it's still not safe to go back in the 
water. Thanks, guys. 

Icean Hunter is pretty similar to last 
year's light-gun based shooting 
game. House of the Dead. Except 
that this time you're armed with 
a giant, cabinet-mounted whale- 
catcher. Oh, and you're under-water.. 
So, having donned your virtual wetsuit, 
it's time to dive into one of seven levels, 
representing the seven seas. Your simple 
task: to shoot everything that moves - 
jellyfish, barracuda, you know the sort of 

thing - until you reach the end of 
level boss, which will be something 
like a great white shark or giant 
squid. These bosses are a lot 
better than the levels, because, 
let's face it, anyone could have a 
jellyfish in a one-on-one. 

Though developed on a posh Model 3 
Step 2.1 board. Ocean Hunter's graphics 
don't maximise the hardware's potential. 
The plot is less than inspiring, too. 
Indeed, compared to House of the 
Dead - in which you blasted your 
way through a mansion backed with 
zombies - Ocean Hunter feels decidedly 
soggy. Perhaps it's because zombie blasting 
is an intrinsically exciting thing to do (as 
Resident Evil proved), while shooting a 
bunch of hapless cod is always going to 
be less sexy. Don't ask why, it just is. 

Ocean Hunter is clearly no Time Crisis 2, 
then, but you never know: it may garner 
a small following at seaside arcades. Or in 
Hull, perhaps. * Cam Anderson 



Gauntlet Legends 

■ Maker: Atari ■ Developer: Team Gauntlet 

■ Release date: out now ■ Players: 1-4 

Remember Gauntlet! Now the frantic monster- 
packed 2D top-down runaround gets a fresh look. 

For coin-op stalwarts, news of a fresh 
release from Atari still gets the juices 
flowing. The company went through 
a lean period a few years back, but its 
renaissance has brought us Primal Rage, 
the hugely successful Area 51 and the 
underrated San Francisco Rush. And anyway, these 
are the guys who once came up with the likes of 
Asteroids and BattleZone, so give 'em a break. 
Now, following popular culture's continuing 
taste for all things retro (in the world of videogames, 
witness the successes of various compendium titles 

■ Ocean Hunter, frankly, 
we're a little unsure about 
the ethics of swaggering 
around the ocean, blasting 
anything that moves. 

released for PlayStation), the company has completely 
revised and revisited one of its all-time classics. 

Gauntlet Legends takes the original concept (exploring 
an assortment of deadly dungeons in the small-scale guise 
of a wizard, warrior, valkyrie or archer, grabbing loot and 
beating the living shit out of anything that might voice an 
objection) and runs with it. The most obvious change is that 
the 2D sprites of old have been replaced by 3D polygon 
characters - but the emphasis is still on swarms and swarms 
of small enemies, rather than two or three big ones. And 
make no mistake, there are a lot of bodies being shifted at 
once here - most with the sole aim of ending your life. 

Your goal in Gauntlet Legends is to collect 12 runes over 
the first four stages (that's 35 levels in total). If you make 
it, you'll be awarded entry to the final level, where things 
really heat up and the true beauty of Gauntlet - you and 
three mates huddled around hurling abuse at each other 
for not saving each other's arses, or for pinching live-giving 
potions that "rightfully" belonged to someone else - comes 
into its own. It's frantic, we're-all-in-this-together fun. 

It all adds up to a bloody good game. I'll end on a tip, 
though. If you can help it, don't pick one of the green 
characters. Why? Because it's often difficult to tell them 
from the monsters, which - if the buddy you're playing 
with ain't the smartest guy in the world - can be seriously 
damaging to your health. ■*-*•* • Cam Anderson 

I Get ready for yet another trip down gaming's memory lane. 

150 | Arcade | January 1 1 999 

Tomb Raider II 

■ Publisher: Aspyr Media 

■ Developer: Westlake ■ Price: 
£39.99 ■ Release date: on sale 
now ■ Players: 1 ■ Requires: 
80MHz PowerMac, 20Mb 
RAM, 4x CD-ROM drive 

■ Recommended: 3Dfx or 
QuickDraw 3D RAVE 
accelerator card 

Lara Croft finally makes her 
debut on Mac (the original 
is being worked on now; III 
may come later). But is her 
stock-in-trade ample chest/ 
tight arse combo enough 
to hold the attention span 
of the supposedly more 
cerebral Macintosh gamer? 

■ The games industry has 
probably spawned its fair share 
of 20th century icons - Mario, 
Sonic, and, of course, Lara Croft, 
the swashbuckling female 
archeologist with the tight top 
and the amazing pair of pistols. 
She's everywhere at the moment 
- even on the Mac, though while 
everyone else is playing Tomb 
Raider III, we have to make do 
with last year's version. Don't 
worry, though - we Mac folk 
are used to it. 

Tomb Raider II is, of course, 
a 3D shoot-'em and solve-'em 
game. You're the agile, nubile Lara 
on a mission to recover an ancient 
Chinese artifact. After some basic 
training on the assault course at 
Lara's country mansion (where 
you're followed round, somewhat 
disturbingly, by a nervous, farting 
butler, complete with wobbly tea 
tray), it's off to the Great Wall of 
China in search of clues to the 
McGuffin's whereabouts. There 
follows an array of increasingly 
exotic locations, from Venice to 
the Arctic Circle, all packed with 
new bad guys and weapons to 
shoot them with. 

It's fun, of course. There are 
spike pits, giant boulders, whirling 
blades and flame throwers to 
negotiate, ivy-covered walls to 
climb and deep underwater 
caverns to swim through. The 
puzzles are a genuine challenge, 
the graphics are superb and the 
whole thing will run on your bog- 
standard PowerMac - though it 
won't look its very best unless 
you have a 3Dfx or QuickDraw 
3D RAVE card. 

The one flaw is with the 
control system, which uses the 
keyboard exclusively and is not 
terribly accurate. But once Lara's 
fallen off the same ledge for the 
fourth time you'll learn to save 
your game between each jump... 
• ••• Lindsay Bruce 



Last month's initial batch of Game Boy Color releases were nifty for the technology on display, but not 
exactly top name games. This time round, however, the big guns come out to play. By Robin Alway. 


■ id f f-iTIE 



■ Publisher: Nintendo 

■ Developer: Nintendo 

■ Price: £19.99 ■ Release date: 
on sale now ■ Players: 1-2 
(with link cable) 

You know those falling 
blocks you get behind your 
eyelids after a six-hour Tetris 
session? Now they're going 
to be in colour. Aaaarrgh! 

■ Changing something as perfect 
as Tetris is like tinkering with the 
rules of association football or 
undertaking a Changing Rooms- 
style redecoration of the Sistine 
Chapel. It's not to be advised and 
obviously completely unnecessary. 
Thankfully, other than splashing 
around a bit of colour, introducing 
a few new modes and (horror!) 
ditching the original's commuter- 
maddening Russian tune, this is 
the same old Tetris that, in the 
process of helping to shift 70 
million Game Boys worldwide, has 
become easily the planet's single 
most-played videogame. 

Now it might not sound like 
much, but the best new thing 
about 7etr/s DX (possibly to be 
called New Color Tetris in the UK) 
is not the added tones, but its 
ability to save high scores. A new 
battery-backed-up stats screen 
keeps a total of the number of 
lines you make disappear, and can 
be used to prove, once and for all, 
that your girlfriend is better at the 
game than you are. Chiz. 

Other than that, all the new 
options work well, and colour 
cheers things up a bit. But this is 
essentially the same game that 
it always was. It's timeless. It's 
fantastic. And that zigzag shape 
is still a complete git. • • • • * 

World Tour 

■ Publisher: Midway 

■ Developer: Digital Eclipse 

■ Release date: January 

■ Price: £24.99 

■ Players: 1 -2 (with link cable) 

Portable nostalgia, anyone? 
The last time these big old 
monsters ruled the Earth, 
Duran Duran were cool. 

■ Tri-linear mip-mapping? Pah! 
This hoary old gaming gimmer 
has been around since before 
polygons were invented. And, 
since its first appearance, there's 
been no change to its 2D movie 
monster characters and city- 
smashing gameplay. 

It's almost charmingly simple. 
In the guise of either King Kong, 
Godzilla or Wolf Man look-alikes, 
your goal is to level a succession 
of world capitals by punching 
skyscrapers, while maintaining 
your energy levels by eating the 
inhabitants and avoiding bullets 
from tiny helicopters. 

But misty eyed reminiscences 
are soon cut brutally short. The 
graphics here are never substantial 
enough to capture the cartoony 
humour of the original, and the 
monsters, in particular, move too 
jerkily to be endearing. Worse still, 
the multi-player mayhem that 
made the original so much fun is 
cruelly curtailed. Two-player games 
are possible with the link cable 
but, on your own (which is, let's 
face it, how most Game Boys are 
played), you'll tire quickly. Game 
Boy Color's an ideal platform for 
meaningful retro games, but this 
isn't how you'll want to remember 
one of gaming's most shameless 
old lags. * 

Kombat 4 

■ Developer: Digital Eclipse 

■ Publisher: Midway 

■ Release date: January 

■ Price: £24.99 ■ Players: 1 

Spine removals! Painful 
decapitations! Knee- 
bending-the- wrong-way 
hilarity! Can you tell what 
game it is yet? 

■ Here we go again. Mortal 
Kombat has turned up in one 
form or another on just about 
every piece of game playing kit 
ever able to process a "Finish him" 
sound sample and show the 
colour red. The Psion Organiser's 
probably got a version. So it's no 
surprise that Mortal Kombat is 
back to make a nuisance of itself 
on the Game Boy Color. 

Some moody beeping, a 
less than terrifying evil laugh 
and you're thrown headlong into 
familiar gothic scrapping territory. 
Although on PlayStation and 
N64 this fourth MK saw the 
introduction of 3D fighters and 
weapons, on the Game Boy 
it's back to the disappointingly 
familiar slideshow-like animation 
and tatty feel that always gifted 
status as world's greatest 2D 
beat-'em-up to Street Fighter. 

The only real surprise is that, 
aside from the fatalities, the fights 
are blood free. This is probably just 
as well when you see the trouble 
the programmers have had getting 
two large characters moving 
quickly on screen at the same 
time, before they've even started 
to think about adding pumping 
arteries. All told, MK4's a pale 
imitator of its PlayStation cousin, 
despite its full-colour status. * 

NFL Blitz 

■ Developer: Digital Eclipse 

■ Publisher: Midway 

■ Release date: January 

■ Price: £24.99 ■ Players: 1 

Fourth down, six yards to 
go and 56 colours on screen. 
American football hut-hut- 
huts its way on to the Game 
Boy Color with a surprising 
amount of style. 

■ American football. A big game, 
played by large men according to 
a vast number of rules. There's a 
lot to fit onto a Game Boy cart, so 
NFL Blitz economises by fielding 
seven-aside teams (usually there 
are 11 players on each side) and 
eliminating all penalties. This is not 
a gridiron game that Dan Marino 
would recognise. 

This wouldn't be so bad if it 
wasn't for the fact that this little 
brother of the PlayStation game 
we gave four stars last issue has 
been so sloppily coded. Okay, so 
the pitch is green (a big deal in 
these early days of colour hand- 
helds), but the players are a state. 
Whenever members of the two 
teams stand close together, they 
flash on and off disconcertingly, 
making an already chaotic sport 
even more complicated. Keeping 
track of your players is, therefore, 
far more difficult than it should be. 

If you can find it in yourself 
to forgive such nasty, slap-dash 
workmanship, there's a decent 
enough game lurking underneath. 
It's quick to get into and, because 
there is a lot of strategy involved in 
terms of plays and set calling (no, 
really - there is), the coaching side 
is tops. It's just a real shame the 
graphics aren't nearly as solid as 
the gameplay. •*-•*-* 

Januay| 1999 1 Arcade 1 151 

Edited by | Travis | 

ine gaming 

fig I Moving in circles 



Ancient arcade and home computer games are 
yours to play once more for free, as long as you 
have the right emulator. But is it legal? 

It is a truth universally held that games aren't as good 
as they used to be. Even in medieval times, when folk 
started kicking an inflated pig's bladder around the 
village green, there was at least one dissenting voice 
in the crowd suggesting that while this new-fangled 
bladder-kicking game was all well and good, it was 
nowhere near as much fun as burning witches. 

The modern-day equivalent of ancient witch-roasting 
is playing ancient games in the firm belief that they're 
somehow better; and with an emulator you can do just 
that. Both the emulators and the games they run are 
freely available over the Internet. The old games come in 
the form of ROMs - software versions of the Read Only 
Memory information from the original arcade machines. 

The first stop for most of your emulator needs is 
Dave's VideoGame Classics (http://www.daves classics, 
com/). I say most, because until recently it was the place 
for all your emulator needs, but now the powers that be 
have started getting heavy-handed with poor old Dave 
and, while you can still find the emulators, the games are 
gone. Boo, and indeed, hiss. You could always try Classic 
Gaming (, which looks 
better than Dave's and still has ROMs, probably... 

The question of the legality of downloading ancient 
arcade games is a tricky one. Technically, downloading an 
arcade game ROM that you don't own is illegal. In reality, 
though, most of the available games are long-dead and 
not making any money for their owners: there's a strong 
argument to the effect that by playing old games we give 
gaming a sense of history and importance, thus providing 
a solid foundation for the current industry. Without its 
hardcore fans, the games industry wouldn't exist - and so 
taking legal action against anybody celebrating their love 
of gaming is churlish. At least, that's what I think. And I 
reckon that's probably all the encouragement you'll need 
to grab a copy of the MAME (Multi Arcade Machine 
Emulator) from Dave's, or its official site at http://mame., then nab some of the 700-plus MAME- 
compatible ROMs from http://www. 

Ancient arcade games are always a laugh, but what 
of the games we all played as kids, on our Spectrums and 
Commodores? Well, they're still available too, and a great 
many of the authors of these old 8-bit classics have given 
their permission for their games to be distributed freely. If 
you were a Speccy kid like me, you'll want to get straight 
to the World of Spectrum ( 
spectrum.html), which has everything; emulators, games, 
the lot. But if you were a C64 kid like me (yeah, I know, so 
nyer) you'll want to get over to Commodore Zone (http:// which also has everything; 
emulators, games, the lot. 

■ MAME lets you play all 
those classic arcade games, 
like Space Invaders, Zaxxon 
and Sidearms. It's all pretty 
hard to resist, eh? 

■ Try our circular journey 
through ten of the most 
peculiar Internet sites. 

Fortean Times 


■ The Internet home of all things 
weird, wonderful and just plain 
sickening also boasts a rather 
impressive list of links, one of 
them to that all-American haven 
of fiction dressed as fact... 

Weekly World News 


■ Ever wondered 
where the Sunday 
Sport gets all its crazy 
ideas? And one of 
the "Friends of WWN 
On-line" is... 

Pseudo Network 


■ Why listen to the 
radio when you can 
always listen to radio 
programs on the Internet? One of 
Pseudo's most popular shows is... 


■ Dedicated to all manner of 3D 
action games. Your main host is 
Stephen Heaslip, aka Blue from... 

Blue's News 


■ The number-one site for news 
on Quake and other 3D action 
games for the PC. But there are 
other sites about that Blue is 
happy for you to visit, including... 

Fortean Times 
com/ ■ And round we go again. 

UFO and alien images 



■ Blurry, ill-focused pictures of 
frisbees, photos of genuine aliens 
and lots of weird links including... 


■ UFOs, cover-ups - anything that 
might interest Mulder and Scully. 
Our investigation leads us to... 



■ British TV and 
more, as well as a 
page on the site- 
stealing Web Snatcher, 
DR Van Staveren, also 
covered at... 

■ Yahoo!: 

... ate my balls 
/humor jokes and fun/ 
tasteless humor/ate my 

■ Ever considered the possibility 
of a character from pop culture 
gorging on your testicles? You'll 
find a link to it here. Yahoo! links 
to almost everything, such as... 

sCary's Shuga Shack 


■ Quake news is the main focus, 
but also check out daily sections, 
including The Suckage and the 
Wack Ass Links that take us to... 


Star Wars: 
Behind the 

■ Publisher: Activision 

■ Developer: LucasArts 

■ Price: £19.99 

■ Release date: on sale now 

■ Requires: P133, 16Mb RAM, 
16-bit soundcard. Win 95 

Try and think of just about any 
perspective you could possibly 
take upon the digital sorcery of 
Star Wars and this double-CD 
package has got it a,ll covered. 
From classic film clips to crew 
interviews, from the absorbing 
mythos behind the story to the 
practicalities of film-making, 
and from the first draft of the 
early script to the merchandise, 

literature and computer games, 
it's all here. There are even 
times - most notably in the 
Millennium Falcon walkthrough 
and the weapons testing bay - 
that you actually get a chance 
to venture inside the magic and 
interact with the Star Wars 
universe first hand. 

Starting out from initial 
categories of Characters, 
Technology, Locations and 
Events, each subsequent 
mouse click unveils yet another 
menu, annotated diagram or 
chunk of information, while for 
hard-core fans there's also a 
chance to flick through the 
entire trilogy, scene by scene. 
If we had to criticise, then we'd 
mention the lack of interviews 
with the stars, and the rather 
lacklustre Episode 1 preview. 

Yet it would be ill-fitting to 
turn this review to the Dark 
Side, for Behind the Magic is 
just about the ultimate Star 
Wars reference CD. Search your 
feelings, then search your 
wallet. ••••• 

Chris James 

152 | Arcade | January 1 1 999 


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Reviews by | Sam Richards & Rich Pelley 

1. Scorpion Light Gun 

■ Platform: PlayStation/Saturn 

■ Price: £24.99 

■ Available from: Blaze on 
01302 325225 

■ No ostentatious futuristic blast 
weaponry here - the Scorpion is 
shaped like a small Saturday Night 
Special automatic, the kind that 
people stick precariously into their 
jean waistband in films. 

It's small and not very heavy, 
making it easy on the forearms 
during lengthy gun-battles. It 
boasts recoil "jolt" effect when 
the gun is fired too, though at 
times this seems barely noticeable. 
All in all, a good buy: the right 
size, the right weight and, best of 
all, the right price. *••• 

2. Top Gun Platinum 

■ Platform: PC 

■ Price: £34.99 

■ Available from: Inter Act/ 
Thrustmaster on 01276 609955 

■ This updated version of 
Thrustmaster's popular Top Gun 
joystick offers a more weighty 
base with a throttle wheel and 
a useful multi-view HAT switch 
under the thumb position. 

It ain't quite perfect, though. 
The trigger switch is in a rather 
awkward position, and if anything 
the entire stick is a tad too small 
(wrapping your hand around feels 
uncomfortable). It's solid and 
precise, but only suitable for 
people with little hands. *••• 

3. Gamester Steering 
Wheel & Rumble Pak 

■ Platform: N64 

■ Price: £59.99 

■ Available from: LMP on 

01992 503133 

■ The N64 isn't exactly renowned 
for its racing simulations, but the 
recent release of the ace F1 World 
Grand Prix gave us an excuse to 
hook up this wheel and attempt 
to nudge Michael Schumacher 
off the track. The Gamester is a 
sturdy old thing and is certainly 
up to the job of coping with the 
harshest treatment you're likely 
to dish out, but it's noticeably less 
effective when you need subtler 
handling. Still, it's better than 
driving with a joypad. **** 

4. V-Box 

■ Platform: PlayStation/N64 

■ Price: £59.99 

■ Available from: Gamars on 
01908 660770 

■ For hardcore gamers who like 
to have their PC and consoles set 
up in the same place (or, indeed, 
everyone who wants to have a 
sneaky game of GoldenEye 007 in 
their lunch hour), the V-Box is 
manna from heaven. Simply plug 
your PlayStation or N64 into the 
V-Box and then connect it straight 
to your Mac or PC monitor - you 
don't need a TV. 

The V-Box is both PAL and 
NTSC compatible and supports a 
VGA frequency of 31.5KHz; so it 
should work perfectly on most 

up-to-date monitors, but anything 
cheap or more than a couple of 
years old may prove a problem. 
Don't be surprised at the slightly 
poorer picture quality of console 
games on a monitor - this is 
nothing to do with the V-Box, it's 
just that monitors work in higher 
resolution than TVs and so 
magnify any imperfections. 

The price of the V-Box may 
deter casual buyers, but it's a great 
idea all the same - and cheaper 
than a new telly. •••• 

154 1 Arcade | January | 1999 


5. MultiPlayer 

■ Platform: PlayStation 

■ Price: £19.99 

■ Available from: Performance 
on 0161 702 5000 

■ Straightforward hardware like 
this either works or it doesn't. 
Fortunately, Performance's 
MultiPlayer Adaptor - enabling 
up to four players to play suitable 
PlayStation games simultaneously 
- does work, and it's also 
competitively priced, so we're 
going to have to pick holes in its 
appearance instead. Frankly, it 
looks a little dull. Performance 
could have made a tiny bit more 
effort with the colour, we feel. Or 
maybe a smiley face. ••* 

6. Gamester Dual 
Force Steering Wheel 

■ Platform: PlayStation 

■ Price: £69.99 

■ Available from: LMP on 

01992 503133 

This is the PlayStation version 
of the Gamester N64 wheel. Its 
handling feels, for some reason, 
rather clumsier than that of the 
N64 model, almost as though the 
faults of its cousin have been 
frustrating magnified. It takes 
practice - probably too much 
practice, we feel - to get to grips 
with the thing, while the Dual 
Force (another of those rumble 
vibrating gizmos) proves largely 
weedy and thus of marginal 
benefit or fun. *■* 

7. Xplorer: The 
Ultimate Cheat 

■ Platform: PlayStation 

■ Price: £29.99 

■ Available from: Blaze 
on 01302 325225 

■ Plug-in cheating cartridges 
have been around for ages. Datel 
Electronics traditionally rules the 
roost with its series of Action 
Replay carts, which have, over 
the years, enabled you to cheat 
on everything from the Amiga 
to the PlayStation to the Vax 200 
vacuum cleaner. 

The Xplorer is a direct 
competitor to Datel's PlayStation 
Action Replay and works in the 
same way. A large list of game 

cheats are included, while other 
pokes (special codes which modify 
the way a game works) can be 
copied from magazines and the 
Internet and then entered to 
enable you to cheat on other 
games. The Xplorer is compatible 
with codes available for all existing 
cheating interfaces - Action 
Replay, Game Shark and Equalizer 
- making it al bit of a "me too" 
product. Its USP is that it can 
apparently be used to link your 
PlayStation to a PC, which then 
lets you work out your own 
codes. We're not exactly sure how 
this works, but we are fairly 
certain that in this day and age 
few gamers have the levels of 
geekiness needed to put this to 
regular use. * * * 

8. Real Arcade 
Light Gun 

■ Platform: PlayStation/Saturn 

■ Price: £34.99 

■ Available from: Joytech 

on 01525 852900 

■ We're not experts in real-world 
weaponry, but we know our light 
guns and we like Joytech's chunky 
new effort - it reproduces that 
Time Crisis arcade machine feel 
perfectly. It's shaped just like the 
"Lawgiver" from the Stallone 
Judge Dredd movie (very sexy) 
and the slide kicks back each time 
you fire. There's even a foot pedal 
option and it's available in high- 
tech silver or a natty camouflage 
design. Great. •*•• 

January | 1999 1 Arcade 1 155 

HEAVEN fM 111 


What Dreams 
May Come 

■ Director: Vincent Ward ■ Starring: Robin 
Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr, Annabella 
Sciorra, Max Von Sydow 

■ UK release: 26 December 

Robin Williams dies and goes to a 
spectacularly-realised heaven; when 
his wife later commits suicide, he 
descends, Orpheus-like, to the 
underworld to find her. The result is 
stunning, visually and emotionally. 

What Dreams May Come is 
not quite a perfect film 
- it's slow moving, some 
will think the ending kind 
of weak - but dammit, 
it delivers so much sheer 
ambition and imagination it 
demands to be seen. If the best 
movies are all about showing us things 
we've never seen before, What Dreams 
May Come delivers in spades. 

The basic plot-line is simple: Northern 
California artsy couple Chris and Annie 

meet, have kids, the children die in a tragic 
accident, Annie has a breakdown, Chris nurses 
her through it, then -just when it looks like 
they're rebuilding their lives - he dies too. And 
thus Robin Williams ends up in quite the most 
amazing, romantic version of heaven - it's all 
pre-Raphaelites and Renaissance artists - ever 
seen on film. With Cuba Gooding Jr as his 
guide he explores paradise, a magical place 
that seems to exist in a fluid state, changing 
as its occupants discover who it is they really 
want to be. The state-of-the-art effects make 
this worth the price of admission on its own. 

But then further disaster. Back on earth, 
Annie has sunk into a state of despair and kills 
herself. Despair being the greatest sin against 
God, she is sent to hell, leading Chris into a 
probably hopeless mission to find her. And 
thus we enter another graphically astonishing 
world - a vision of hell that's all Bosch and Dali 
and sinners buried up to their necks. You think 
special effects can't surprise you any more, 
then, like buses, two come along at once. 

What Dreams May Come has an incredible 
visual imagination and great performances 
from all its leads. But the greatest credit must 
go to New Zealand director Vincent Ward, 
whose brave, richly-detailed vision drives this 
modern semi-masterpiece. ••••• 

Enemy of 
the State 

■ Director: Tony Scott 

■ Starring: Will Smith, Gene 
Hackman, Jon Voight 

■ UK release: 26 December 

■ Though ultimately merely a 
good, solid thriller rather than a 
great one, Enemy of the State 
(tagline: "It's not paranoia if 
they're really after you") is 
interesting in a number of ways. 
For a start, it sees director Tony 
Scott (best known for the glossy, 
all-action near-camp of Top Gun, 
of course) and lead comedian/ 
rapper/actor Will Smith both 
playing it commendably straight 
for once. Better still, it messes 
with the idea that we're all living 
in what it calls "a surveillance 
state" in a number of interesting 
ways, not least by introducing as 
Smith's only ally a bristle-headed, 
bespectacled underground type 
played by Gene Hackman in a 
virtual reprise of a role he took 
nearly 25 years ago in Francis 
Coppola's classic high-tech 
paranoia thriller, The Conversation. 

Smith is good in this, all po- 
faced as a Washington DC lawyer 
whose life is dismantled by evil 
government high-up Jon Voight 
when he lucks across proof that a 
congressman was murdered for 
opposing a bill that would make 
government snooping easier. As 

a film. 

It's one that'll happen sooner or 
later, but here's how we'd do it 
For a start, there's only one Lara, 
and that's Catherine Zeta Jones. 
She's dark, beautiful, fit but not 
over-athletic, genuinely British, 
and The Mask ofZorro 
shows she can turn her 
hand to action sequences. 

The next most 
important thing: no love 
interest. Lara is warm 
and genuine but 
essentially mysterious 
and unknowable. Only at 
the end, her quest 
over, does she pick a 
man to entertain 
herself with. There's 
little in the way of 
supporting cast (Richard 
Wilson as her shambling 
butler), and for director? 
GoldenEye man Martin 
Campbell, who got the 
best of Catherine Z-J in 
the new Zorro flick. 

■ Ah, Lara. Who 
is worthy? 

156 1 Arcade | January | 1 999 

ilm reviews by | Raul Mariand | Video reviews by | Sam Rfcliar ds 

Smith is discredited, fired and 
eventually fitted up for murder 
in an increasingly desperate 
campaign to get rid of him, Scott's 
love of the high-tech becomes a 
tad fetishistic (does he really hate 
the bugs, wiretaps, spy satellites 
and computer searches that 
punctuate much of the film?) and, 
as it does so, his movie abandons 
some of its more interesting 
themes in favour of the formulaic. 
Of course, there are few people 
who do formulaic quite as well as 
Scott, so you scarcely mind when 
set-pieces like two (count 'em!) 
chases, a shoot-out and a neat 
double-cross all but take over. 
Star spotters will enjoy this 
one, by the way: everyone from 
Gabriel Byrne to Lisa Bonet to 
Tom Sizemore crop up along the 
way. ■*-*•* 

Meet Joe Black 

■ Director: Martin Brest 

■ Starring: Brad Pitt, 
Anthony Hopkins 

■ UK release: 15 January 

■ A remake of the 1934 classic, 
Death Takes a Holiday, Meet Joe 
Black introduces Brad Pitt as a 
handsome nice-guy lawyer who 
chats up a millionaire's daughter. 
Don't get too attached to him, 
though, because he's soon dead 
and, for the rest of the overlong 
near-three-hour running time, 
his body plays host to the Grim 
Reaper, who's chosen to adopt 
Brad's corpse - not because he 
looks so buff, but in order to get 
close to the millionaire himself, so 
he can tell him that his end is near. 
It's a bizarre set up. 

The film is torn between two 
dominating performances. Pitt as 

Death (nicknamed "Joe Black" 
by Parrish, the communications 
magnate he's come to kill) is 
often terrible; or, at the very best, 
painfully self-absorbed. Anthony 
Hopkins as Parrish, on the other 
hand, is sublime. 

The sharp old millionaire 
manages to strike a deal whereby 
he can stay alive for as long as 
Joe Black remains amused by life 
on earth. For much of the film, 
then, Death simply follows Parrish 
around, prompting numerous 
intelligent, rather entertaining 
conversations in which Death 
talks in a stilted, technically-true- 
but-misleading fashion, and 
Hopkins simply shines. By the end 
of the film you want to slap Joe 
Black; Parrish you could handle for 
another hour. 

Martin Brest (perhaps best 
known for Scent of a Woman) 
has fun with the idea of Death, 
who he depicts as an innocent 
having his first experiences inside 
a human body (it's reminiscent of 
Starman or Splash or a million 
others, right down to the aren't- 
orgasms-great? bits), and touches 
on a number of truths about 
love, death and other big issues. 
But Pitt's inadequate central 
performance often threatens to 
sink the whole ship, only to see 
Hopkins drag it effortlessly back 
to the surface. ••* 

The Seige 

■ Director: Edward Zwick 

■ Starring: Bruce Willis, 
Denzel Washington, 
Annette Bening 

■ UK release: 8 January 

■ The Seige is one of those "torn 
from tomorrow's headlines" sort 
of movies, an uncomfortable 
cross between a vaguely jingoistic 
American political thriller in the 
Tom Clancy mould and something 
a bit more intelligent. It's an 
uncomfortable mix, and definitely 
the weakest of the three 
collaborations to date between 
star Washington and director 
Zwick (the other two being 
Courage Under Fire and Glory, 
which won Denzel as Oscar). 

The Seige begins with Arab- 
American terrorists bombing New 
York and ends with an ludicrously 
bonkers psycho-general (played 
by a mumbling Bruce Willis with 
some sort of small dog on his 
head) declaring martial law, and 
thus coming into direct conflict 
with Washington and his FBI 
buddies. These include Bening, 
in an against-type, non-glam role 
as a workaholic intelligence agent, 
who comes across as quite the 
brightest person in the film. 

The result is sadly somewhat 
muddle-headed. Are we meant 
to think the terrorist bombers are 

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Iffen Resurrection: 
ropean feel." 

the real bad guys here, or cold- 
blooded Bruce? Indeed, are we 
meant to treat the whole thing 
as a serious political thriller, or as 
a mere popcorn flick? 

Ultimately, The Seige fails to 
do its big themes justice. But parts 
are memorable, chiefly some of 
the bombings, some of the lines 
("What if they were black people? 
What if they were Italians?"), and 
Bening's scruffy, heavy-drinking, 
sexually-loose heroine, who walks 
away with the film. *•■*• 

Rush Hour 

■ Director: Brett Ratner 

■ Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris 
Tucker, Tom Wilkinson 

■ UK release: 4 December 

■ Hollywood likes Jackie Chan, 
but it's not convinced he can carry 
a whole American movie on his 
own. Hence, the new plan for 
Chan: team him with an American 
movie star, and hope the two 
strike sparks off each other 

It's not exactly an original idea, 
but when you've got two likable 
actors in the frame it works. And 
so it is that Rush Hour relies on 
the contrast between the modest, 
self-effacing, all-action Hong Kong 
supercop Chan and the motor- 
mouth, showboating LA 'tec 
Tucker (he's better here, but you'll 
remember him as that annoyingly 
camp DJ who near-ruined the last 
half of The Fifth Element). 

Cue a million scenes you could 
probably write yourself - Jackie 
leaping from a double-decker to a 
sign to a lorry, Tucker gabbling on 
while he thinks of what to do, 
Eddie Murphy style - but it's still 
fun. Albeit predictably. • * * 

Excess Baggage 

■ Columbia Tristar 

■ Alicia Silverstone plays a 
posh-girl-with-attitude who 
fakes her own kidnapping in 
order to win affection from her 
stuffy pa. When the plan goes 
belly up, Alicia winds up in the 
hands of a loveable car thief 
played by Benecio Del Toro 
and the pair begin an uneasy 
relationship. Throw in a subplot 
involving small-time mafioso 
and a seriously typecast (but 
still classy) Christopher Walken 
as shady ex-CIA man "uncle" 
Ray and all the elements of a 

decent story are in place. Sadly, 
the whole thing is tarnished by 
some ropey acting. * * * 

Alien Resurrection 

■ 20th Century Fox 

■ If you're a devotee of the 
Alien series, it's probably best 
to avoid this, since it should 
really be evaluated as a film 
in its own right. With Jean- 
Pierre Jeunet at the helm, 
lending Resurrection a definite 
European feel, the atmosphere 
is strong, the tension high and 
the aliens (particularly the 
"newborn") suitably hideous. 

In a clever plot contrivance, 
Ripley returns as a clone of her 
former self, parasite alien in 
tow. There are gaps in the 
story a mile wide, and you're 
propelled by intrigue instead 
of terror, but nevertheless it's 
a thoroughly modern sci-fi flick 
that retains its credibility. * * * 

Sliding Doors 

■ cic 

■ A sentimental comedy 
for people who don't like 
sentimental comedies, Sliding 
Doors is classy enough to avoid 
slushiness, thanks to its post- 777/5 
Life take on twentysomething 
mores. Gwyneth Paltrow 

plays the leading lady whose 
life diverges around a tube 
train caught or missed. One 
scenario shows her catching 
her boyfriend at it with his ex, 
while in the other he gets away 
with the misdeed and their 
relationship limps onward. The 
two stories run concurrently 
(although Gwyneth handily gets 
her hair cut in one, preventing 
confusion), re-uniting in a clever 
and dramatic finale. You're 
just left hoping that in real life 
Gwyneth would never really go 
for a man whose chat up skills 
involve reciting Monty Python 
routines. **** 

The Big Lebowski 

■ Polygram 

■ The Coen brothers make a 
straight comedy? Well, not quite. 
The plot may be easy to follow, 
but that's only because there 
isn't much of it. Jeff Bridges plays 
The Dude, an acid casualty who's 
laid back life is disrupted by a 
case of mistaken identity born 
of him happening to share a 
real name with a local millionaire 
who's trying to bump off his 
spendaholic playgirl wife. 

This framework is an excuse 
for increasingly surreal gags 
involving a pederast bowling 
champion and a triumvirate of 
German sado-masochist artists 
intent on removing The Dude's 
"Johnson". Coen brothers 
regulars John Goodman and 
Steve Buscemi excel as The 
Dude's inappropriately violent 
buddy and a fragile idiot non- 
savant. If you prioritise good 
sense over a good laugh, give 
this one a miss - otherwise, it's 
essential. ***** 


■ Columbia Tristar 

■ Rarely has a film generated so 
much hype ("Size does matter", 
remember?) and delivered so 
little. Roland Emmerich, director 
of Independence Day, once again 
attempts to make up for a 
preposterous plot with huge 
special effects, but Godzilla lacks 
all the style of his previous effort. 

The story? French nuclear 
testing in the Pacific creates 
a gargantuan girl-lizard, who 
wreaks havoc on poor old 
Manhattan in an attempt to lay 
its eggs. Matthew Broderick and 
Maria Patillo chase gamely after 
it, presumably in pursuit of their 
lost careers. Godzilla is a cliched, 
boring and pathetic turkey. * 

January | 1999 | Arcade 1 157 



Rolling Stone: 
The '70s 

Authors: Various ■ Price: £20 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
ISBN: 0-684-85869-X 

If your overall impression of American 
rock weekly Rolling Stone is that 
it makes a fine home for lengthy 
dissertations on yankee youth politics 
and suspect celebrations of such 
quality acts as Hootie & The Blowfish, 
but has little to say to you about your life, 
prepare to be amazed. Rolling Stone has 
one of the most fascinating histories 
of any magazine. Over the decades it's 
moved from hippy newsheet to glossy 
bible of MTV culture, delivering a raft 
of era-defining articles and spectacular 
covers along the way. This compilation 
does exactly what it says on the tin: it's 
the story of the Stone in the 1970s. 

What we understand today as youth 
culture was a relatively new phenomenon 
back in 1970, and 
Rolling Stone 
was a key text 
in documenting 
and defining its 
Music was always 
at the core of 
the magazine, 
but never its 
totality - looking 
at old issues of 
Rolling Stone you 
learn as much 

about fashion, politics, even the fast- 
developing technology, as you do sounds. 

Rolling Stone: The 70s has assembled 
a formidable band of commentators who 
relive their personal experiences of the 
decade in exuberant prose. Chrissie Hynde 
revisits the scene of the Kent State 
campus shootings, Nik Cohn investigates 
the making of Saturday Night Fever and 
Hunter S Thompson rambles on about 
drugs. These retrospective accounts are 
interspersed with Rolling Stone articles 
of the time, while a timeline running 
through the book offers an historical 
anchor. Needless to say, the look of the 
thing is immaculate, combining striking 
photos from the period with retro- 
stylised design. 

Favourite bits? Well, there's a brilliant 
article by Michael Rogers detailing the 
personal computer revolution of the mid- 
70s and its pioneers - an idealistic bunch 
of nerd-tinged college kids fiddling with 
electronics and BASIC programming as 
a counter-cultural hobby. Writing about 
Gates, Wozniak, Jobs and co, Rogers 
says, "they shared a nearly religious belief 
that the computer was a tool of personal 
liberation". These were heady days! And 
just one tiny corner of the patchwork 
quilt of the '70s to be found here. 
+ • • • • Sam Richards 

The Restraint 
of Beasts 

■ Author: Magnus Mills 

■ Publisher: Flamingo 

■ Price: £9.99 

■ ISBN: 0-00-225720-3 

Re-released because 
it's been nominated 
for the Booker Prize, 
The Restraint of 
Beasts isn't the dry, 
intellectual exercise 
that you normally expect to find 
on the shortlist - chances are, you 
might even enjoy reading it. 

Tarn and Richie are taciturn 
Scots labourers with a passion 
for heavy metal, drinking and 
little else. After a bit, they go 
to England to build some fences. 
Plot-wise, that's about it - except 
that the deliberately anonymous 
prose of their foreman and 
our narrator soon reveal that 
something's up. Okay, so we 
never find out quite what that 
something is, but the sense 
of mystery generated by the 
deliberately simple writing and 
our protagonists' unquestioning 
nature is intense. A sinister, 
claustrophobic world begins to 
close in around Tarn and Richie, 
but all they're interested in is 
making it to the Queen's Head 
before last orders. This excellent, 
blackly comic novel can be read 
in an evening, but it'll keep your 
brain occupied for weeks. 
• •*•■*•* Sam Richards 

The Essential 

■ Author: Lee Pf eiffer & 
Dave Worrall 

■ Price: £20 

■ Publisher: Boxtree 

■ ISBN: 0-7522-2477-8 

There's hardly a 
world shortage 
of James Bond 
books, and The 
Essential Bond 
inevitably retreads 
a lot of old ground, but there's 
no denying the appeal of this 
"authorised guide to the world 
of 007". Concentrating on the 
official series of films (there are 
short chapters at the back on 
the books, the people behind the 
movies, the TV shows influenced 
by 007 and such rogue outings 
as Casino Royale and Never Say 
Never Again), this goes through 
them all in chronological order. 
It also details the production 
background, 007's assignment in 
the movie, the women he beds, 
the baddies he fights, the allies 
he uses, the vehicles he destroys 
and the gadgets he delights in. All 
very good, as far as it goes, but to 
my mind it's the use of evocative, 
often rare pictures that makes the 
thing. Thrown away on the back 
of the jacket, for instance, is a 
little seen Dr No shot of a white 
bikinied Ursula Andress lying in 
the surf that's simply sensational. 
• •• MattBielby 


■ Author: Robert Rankin 

■ Price: £16.99 

■ Publisher: Doubleday 

■ ISBN: 0-3854-0943-5 

Life is difficult 
when you simply 
can't be politically 
correct. Look at 
Porrig: dumped by his 
feminist fiancee and 
beaten up by a Big Issue seller: 
if it weren't for the fact that he 
inherited a comic shop from his 
maverick uncle Apocalypso, he 
would be in ruins. But there's 
still time for Porrig's life to go 
downhill, owing to a combination 
of various awkward relatives 
(deceased, shouid-be deceased 
and living) and a giant sprout-like 
alien dredged out of the ocean. 
If you enjoy Robert Rankin's 
novels and find penises hugely 
funny (and who doesn't?), you'll 
love this. It cracks on at a fair pace, 
and the various plots intertwine 
beautifully. Despite their oddities 
the characters seem real: no mean 
feat when they include one 
unable to be politically correct, an 
explorer with a false beard and a 
habitual masturbator. There's a 
good solid plot too - this is no 
one-joke novel - although it is 
somewhat reminiscent of Douglas 
Adams' Dirk Qently's Holistic 
Detective Agency. Nonetheless, 
it's great fun and comes highly 
• ••• Miriam McDonald 

The First 

■ Price: Aus$22.95 

■ Author: John Case 

■ Publisher: Century 

■ ISBN 0-7126-7703-8 



Ah, thrillers. The 
end of the Cold 
War must have left 
many writers in a 
cold sweat. Luckily, 
it seems that the 
approaching Millennium has 
caused a boom in bizarre cults. 
As any fool knows, the first 
horseman of the apocalypse 
is Pestilence, and so The First 
Horseman is set round a highly- 
organised cult's plan to release 
a killer influenza virus. What 
impressed me most about this 
effort is that so much of the 
storyline comes across as highly 
feasible. Case has certainly done 
his research - you'll learn a lot 
about flu and virus transmission 
here - and you'll believe that the 
events depicted could happen. 
The problem is that the characters 
are so thinly drawn. There's the 
beautiful-yet-single scientist and 
the journalist on a quest for the 
truth who no-one believes - 
they're both too formulaic to care 
about. Even the hero's family exist 
purely to give him some humanity. 
Not 100% satisfying, then, but it 
never gets dull and would make a 
great action movie. 
* * * Miriam McDonald 

158 1 Arcade | January 1 1 999 



■ Writer: Grant Morrison 

■ Artists: Howard Porter 
and John Dell 

■ Publisher: DC Comics 

If you're a bit of a grown-up, 
superheros make for a very 
guilty pleasure indeed. There 
are other types of comic 
book you can vaguely justify 
to yourself - Frank Miller's 
Sin City crime stories, say - 
but muscle-bound flying 
guys with their underpants 
on the outside? That's kid's 
stuff, right? The problem 
is, like those pink shrimp 
sweets, like videogames 
even, once you've acquired 
the taste it never really 
goes away And in Grant 
Morrison's revamped Justice 
League of America book - 
relaunched as simply "JLA" 
a couple of years back - 
we've finally got a comic 
that satisfies both our 
childish and adult cravings. 
For the kid in you, it's 
got the lot: all DCs big guns, 

including Batman, Wonder 
Woman, Green Lantern, the 
Flash, and that big guy with 
the cape fighting increasingly 
potent menaces (and when 
they've defeated everything 
from alien super-races to 
living suns to invading angels 
in recent months, part of 
the fun is in seeing what 
Morrison will come up with 
to throw against them next). 
And for the adult, there's 
reliably clever - and often 
genuinely thrilling - scripting 
that makes full use of the 
abilities of its characters. 
When Superman leads a 
JLA completely stripped 
of its superhuman abilities 
against a planet-full of alien 
possessed zombies with a, 
"We have no powers, there 
are millions of them and 
there's a child in there who 
needs us to save the world. 
Let's go", I guarantee you'll 
be punching the air. Cheesy? 
Maybe a little, but it's good 
cheesy. This is one guilty 
pleasure no one - no matter 
how old - should give up. 
***** MattBielby 

Edited by Sam Richards 

Black Crowes 

By Your Side 

■ Label: Columbia 

Hoarier than 
Keith Richards' 
uncle, the Black 
Crowes seem 
like they've 
been around 
forever but are probably only 
about 30. They've danced with 
the devil and drunk his whiskey, 
been there, done it and had the 
transfusion, so when it comes to 
rocking in a Stones/ Aerosmith/ 
Faces manner, you know you can 
trust these guys. 

By Your Side sees the Crowes 
rejecting recent technological 
forays and returning to their blues 
roots, although there's always a 
boogie to their beat. They're at 
their best on "Only A Fool" and 
"Heavy", when they whack on a 
huge gospel effect instead of the 
jobsworth guitar solo. Of course. 

there are too many ladies lost 
dat the bottom of a bottle for 
comfort, but Black Crowes have 
always thrived on a little bit of 
cliche. Oh, and did I mention they 
rock? Good. *** 
Sam Richards 

Black Star Liner 

Bengali Bantam Youth 

■ Label: WEA 

Black Star 
Liner doesn't 
just dip a toe 
in the waters 
of musical 
eclecticism, it 
strips down to 
its pants and dive-bombs right 
in. Mainman Choque Hussein is a 
flamboyant, reggae-loving Asian 
from Leeds, and he stamps his 
healthily varied personality all over 
this album. Eclecticism on its own, 
however, doesn't make a great 
pop record, and while we can 

admire Black Star Liner, it's hard 
to love the band. 

There are moments of 
supreme inspiration. "Swimmer" 
is silky, swampy and a little bit 
spooky; "Superfly And Bindi" 
brims with righteous anger 
masquerading as cultural 
celebration; and "Khaatoon", 
though almost throwaway, hints 
at the orchestral peaks the group 
is capable of. Ultimately though, 
this is casserole, not a funky stew. 
* * • Sam Richards 

Paul Van Dyk 

Vorpsrung Dyk Technik 
■ Label: Deviant Records 

nominated as 
| International 
DJ of the Year 
by Muzik 
Paul Van Dyk is having a good 
year. This three-CD compilation, 
highlighting his work since 1992, 
leaves you feeling that the last six 
years have been pretty good too. 
It's only now, however, with the 
chart success of "For an Angel", 
that people are taking serious 
notice. A good time, then, to 
cherry pick Van Dyk's output to 
this point and repackage it in an 
easily digestible form. 

And that's exactly what 
Deviant has done. Vorpsrung Dyk 
Technik features both original 
trance compositions and remixes 
of tracks such as New Order's 
"Spooky" and Effective Force's 
"My Time is Yours." Don't expect 
the variety of a live set - this is all 
his own stuff - but if you know a 
little of his work and want more, 
it's all here. • * • * Neil West 



Various artists 

Chef Aid: The South Park Album 
■ Company: Sony 

As you can from Arcade's cover this issue, South Park is 
currently making a serious bid for the UK's over-worked 
attentions. The game of South Park (see pages 32 and 
142) has tapped into the same vein of sick and absurd 
frivolity as the cartoon (I can't wait to try the cow- 
launcher myself), so it's a logical extension to the South 
Park brand. The album Chef Aid, however, follows in the 
grand tradition of comedy series offshoot records and is about 
as funny as a gas bill. Cartman doing his Rod Stewart impression 
is a laugh for ten seconds, but becomes some kind of rare and 
excruciating torture over four minutes. And that's assuming you 
only listen to your new CD once. 

Meanwhile, the usual US alt-rock suspects (Perry Farrell, 
Primus, Ween) queue up to prove how wacky they are, and 
ancient dodgy geezers Ozzy Osbourne and Ike Turner merely 
celebrate the fact that South Park's ultra-irony means they're 
allowed to be sexist assholes again. With crushing inevitably, 
we're also treated to exclusive tracks from Puff Daddy and 
Wyclef Jean, men who would rap over the theme tune from 
Steptoe & Son should the opportunity present itself. 

Only the Chef himself provides any respite, largely because 
he's the best part of the programme anyway and he's voiced by 
the mercurial Isaac Hayes. On his three featured tracks, the lord 
of "spurting love juice" bursts his way through enough single 
entendre to make Fat Harry White blush. It seems that Chef is 
fine - it's those responsible for the rest of this half-baked album 
that require the aid. * * Sam Richards 


| Here's what the pub will be 

■_ ■ ■ 

W¥~*lbX r fliT»'I r ii'iiltPt r A 


I enough to turn anyone pagan. 

Shakin' Stevens 


Vince Guaraldi 

Merry Christmas 

Last Christmas 

The Charlie Brown 


■ A poignant Christmas 

Christmas Album 

■ Whatever happened t 

o heartbreak record, much 

■ A mellow slice of jazz 

Shakey? Let's hope he's 

empathised with by 

from the seasonal Peanuts 

not alone with a bottle o 

Arcade's Matt Bielby. He's 

TV shows. Neil says the 

brandy, contemplating hi; 

also a fan of the cheese- 

beauty of this is that you 

lost career this Yuletide. 

heavy covers propagated 

can listen to it more than 

by Whigf ield and Billie. 

once without vomiting. 

Kirsty MacColl and 

The Pogues 

The Fall 

Baby Bird 

A Fairytale of 

No Xmas for 

Planecrash Xmas 

New York 

John Quays 

■ The one where the 

■ On the list because th 

5 ■ Mark E Smith's attempt 

Jones family go away for 

swearing and fighting, 

to reconcile the religious 

Christmas and return to 

more than any snowy 

and commercial aspects of 

find that a plane has 

schmaltz, epitomises 

it all. At least, we think 

crashed into their street, 

Christmas chez Arcade. 

that's what he's on about. 

killing everyone. Beautiful. 

January) 1 999 | Arcade 1 159 




■ Publisher: Euro Games ■ Available from: 
Esdevium Games on 01252 326116 

■ Release date: on sale now 

■ Price: £35 ■ Players: 2-4 

It might take some believing, but board 
games are coming back into fashion. 
Okay, so having a cupboard stuffed with 
the likes of Monopoly and Cluedo isn't 
about to gain you much kudos in the 
hippest circles, but with a solid stream of 
little known but highly enjoyable games 
coming in from the continent through 
specialist shops and importers, it's not just the 
board game cognoscente who are getting in 
on the act. Normal people are beginning to 
catch on, too. 

These new games are for the most part 
fairly complex (particularly at first) and thus 
not for real beginners, but they offer diversity 

■ Become master 
of the known 
world - and 
without getting 
your feet wet. 


and a genuine chance to engage your friends 
on a cerebral level. Sure, multi-player Quake 
clones are all very well, but sometimes it's 
nice to sit back and think for a change. 

Serenissima is a fine example of this sort 
of thing. It's a game for up to four people in 
with each player controls a capital city and, 
initially, a fleet of just one galley. Using these 
assets, your task is to expand your empire 
throughout the Mediterranean region, taking 
control of ports and trading in the materials 
- like gems, spices, iron and wood - that 
you'll find in each. Entering into combat is 
unavoidable, as the galleys compete to reach 
profitable destinations, and so it's essential 
that you maintain a healthy army. This army 
can protect your ships, but operates on a 
mercenary level; you'll have to pay your forces 
in ducats - the game's monetary currency. 

Lasting about three hours, a game 
of Serenissima involves alliance-making, 
inevitable betrayal and a healthy dose of 
combat on the high seas. The game is won 
by whoever has built up the most valuable 
empire after a pre-determined number 
of turns. You score points for hanging 
on to your capital (and remember, this 
can easily be snatched from you if you 
maintain only a small standing army), for 
the number of ports you own and for the 
money and materials you have managed 
to accrue. Although the concept of 
Serenissima is initially difficult to grasp (again, 
: may seem a little daunting if all you've 
ever played is Snakes and Ladders) the 
mechanics of the game itself 
are fairly simple. Of course, 
becoming a master of the seas 
is far from easy, but then that's 
one sign of a good game. 
• ••• Paul Pettengale 

it r 



Yamaha DJX 

■ Available from: Yamaha on 
01908 366700 ■ Price: £250 

■ Release date: on sale now 

■ It's an odd package, the DJX. It 
boasts that you don't actually have 
to be able to play the piano to use 

160 1 Arcade | January | 1 999 

it. Instead, you'll have great fun 
fiddling with the huge selection 
of knobs and preset tunes, and 
playing with the built-in samples. 
The supposed aim of the DJX is 
to enable you to swiftly and 
easily create dance tracks in your 
bedroom, using only a minimal 

■ D-ES55: 
sounds great, 
looks better. 

D-ES55 Discman 

■ Available from: Sony on 0990 111999 

■ Price: £160 ■ Release date: on sale now 

From the mass of personal CD players on the 
market, we picked out this model on the basis of its 
unusual styling. It's a love it or hate it scenario: the 
purply-blue marbled casing will have you either 
coo-ing like a dove or reaching for the sick bucket. 
If you fall into the "sick bucket" camp you'll be 
pleased to learn that a plain black model is also available. 
What's special about the D-ES55 is that it offers you 
not one but two sound processing options: Bass and 
Groove. Bass does exactly what you'd expect (obviously) 
- while Groove's kind of akin to the Loudness button on 
a domestic hi-fi, expanding the sound right across the 
spectrum. It's a good thing, too, for while such a feature 
is considered a no-no on a decent quality home hi-fi 
(it detracts from the quality of the original signal) it 
can be a real blessing when you're listening through 
headphones on a noisy Tube train. Just remember - for 
full trendsetter effect, big, full-ear, closed-back cans are 
the only way to go. * * • * • Russell Deeks 

amount of talent. Now, 
whether or not you'll 
ever come up with 
anything good isn't 
certain, but it will 
definitely take you a 
long time to find out as 
the DJX features a limited 
sequencer and more 
options than a box of low- 
calorie chocolate drinks. 
The Arcade team's 
plans to get to number 
one by sampling the riff from 
Guns 'n' Roses "Sweet Child of 
Mine" and rapping lazily over the 
top in a Puff Daddy/Mace style 
were slightly scuppered by the fact 
that you can't sample in more than 

six or 

so seconds of any individual 
piece of music. So don't look for us 
on Top of the Pops Just yet. But 
otherwise, the DJX comes highly 
recommended for the price. 
• **• RichPelley 

■ Yamaha's DJX 
has more buttons 
and knobs than 
the Space Shuttle. 



Fancy yourself as a DJ, but can't be bothered messing around with turntables and 
vinyl? No problem - getting into CD mixing still isn't cheap, but it's never been easier. 
At least, that's what T3 magazine's Russell Deeks says. 

AA-88 Active Audio system 

■ Available from: Vestax on 01428 653117 

■ Price: £999 ■ Release date: on sale now 

■ What else you'll need: speakers, at least one other 
sound source 

■ This Vestax AA-88 is an integrated set- 
up (it's got everything built in) although 
you'll need at least one other source (CD 
player or turntable) to get the most out of it. 
Unlike the RMX-9, the AA-88 has a full range 
of phono and line-level inputs, making it ideal if 
you're upgrading your current system. 

What the AA-88 offers is a CD player with pitch 
control, MD recorder, tuner, mixer and amplifier, all in a quirky 
looking box. The styling's been known to raise eyebrows, but in 
terms of sound quality and functionality it is, quite simply, wonderful. 
The number of inputs gives it more appeal than the RMX-9 if you're serious 
about DJing; the less committed should go for Pioneer. • * • • • 


■ Available from: Apex on 01707 
266222 ■ Price: £300 ■ Release date: 
on sale now ■ What else you'll need: 
Nothing (except yer bumps feeling) 

I Two CDs, mixer, amp and speakers all in one 
box, and all for under £300? Too good to be true, 
surely? Er, yes, actually. 

The DJC230 is supposedly aimed at would-be 
who fancy a dabble without spending an absolute 
fortune. All well and good, but it's got no pitch control 
on the CD decks, making anything other than Disco Dave 
Doubledecks-style sequencing of intros and fade-outs 
impossible. You can't beat mix with it, full stop - making it a bit 
like a car for would-be drivers that you can't actually steer. What's 
more, it feels cheap and plasticky and while it does sound reasonably 
clear, it's pitifully quiet. Of interest to the landlords of God-awful fun 
pubs (and perhaps would-be Radio 1 DJs) only. * 

DJM-300S, CDJ100S, EFX-500 

■ Available from: Pioneer on 01753 789789 

■ Prices: £299, £349, £399 

■ Release date: on sale now 

■ What else you'll need: amp, speakers 

■ This little lot bridge the gap between the 
complete novice market catered for by the RMX-9 
and the professional end of the spectrum (where 
Pioneer's CDJ5005 is rapidly becoming the industry 
standard installation CD deck). The CDJ1005 is basically a budget 
version of the CDJ500S, aimed at the bedroom DJ who's got a 
mixing set-up already but wants to add CD to the equation; the 
DJM-300S is a complementary mixer, with two channels, each 
switchable between both line-level and phono inputs; and the 
EFX-500 is another FX unit, this time offering up to 25 different 
digital effects to play around with. 

Sound-wise it's better than the RMX-9, but you should think 
carefully before splashing out: if you're not convinced DJing's 
going to be a lasting hobby, you're talking about adding a lot 
of money to what's already going to be a big bill. •••• 

KMX100, KCD 860, 

■ Available from: Kam on 01727 840527 

■ Price: £99, £399 ■ Release date: on sale now 

■ What else you'll need: amplifier, speakers 

■ Again, one to consider if you're taking DJing a little more seriously, the 
KCD860 is a split unit with two CD decks in one section and all the controls 
(including pitch sliders) in the other. This is the budget end of the 
pro/installation market, so 
while you handily get two 
decks in one unit, you 
don't get jog dials, for 
instance. But you do get 
pitch bend and a loop 
facility, and really, what 
do you expect for £399? 

The KMX100, 
meanwhile, is just one of 
many Kam mixers: we've 
picked this particular two- 
channel model largely for its 
striking looks, and also because it 
offers "kill" facilities (read: EQ on 
steroids), which most mixers at 
this price don't. The system's sound 
quality is perfectly fine for the price, 
although it loses a couple of stars 
because, let's face it, the KCD 860's 
pretty clunky-looking. •*• 


RMX-9 microsystem 

■ Available from: Pioneer on 01753 789789 

■ Price: £999 or £1,199 (MC or MD version) 

■ What else you'll need: speakers 

■ This micro system is truly out on its own: it's the only fully integrated product 
with pitch control on the market. This means you get two DJ-friendly CD decks, 
an amp/tuner, an FX unit and a cassette deck or MiniDisc recorder (depending 
on whether you want to pay £999 or £1,199), plus a mixer/control unit. The real 
star of the show is the FX unit, which offers six sound processing effects (Delay, 
Echo, Auto Pan, Flange, Pitch Shift and Old Record) plus a built-in sampler - so 
you can not only mash up the beats like a pro, but also create your very own 
custom versions of tracks as you go along. In other words: hours of fun. The 
sound's reasonable for the money, and if you're starting from scratch (if you'll 
pardon the pun), this is the one to go for. * • • • • 

January | 1999 1 Arcade 1 161 

Future Publishing^ first free games magazine. 

ahead of the game 

At last, an email worth reading. 

Get along to 

and see what you're missing. 


Edited by 
Mark Green 

Congratulations, you've made it as far 
as Arcade's A-List - Vie biggest guide 
to the games on sale in the UK today. 
Thinking about browsing in your local 
store? Ybu need our tips on whafs hot 
and whafs not - revised every month 

What to look out for in the comprehensive A-lisl this issue: 

165 Puzzler heaven! 

'Oh god, my head's killing 
me." Five brain-twisting 
puzzlers you'll never forget 

166 Why I hate Mario 

If s a love-hate thing. Rich 
Pelley explains why Palma's 
pipe-mech made his life hell. 

168 Final Fantasy VII 

Does the best fantasy ever 
stand up to a long term test? 

170 Full of Holes 

Games to avoid at all costs - 
this month Aero Gauge. 

163 PlayStation games 

Over 130 games reviewed 
for Britain's top console. 

167 PC games 

More than 90 of the latest 
PC releases rated. 

171 Nintendo 64 games 

We haven't forgotten... 

172 Game Boy games 

...the less popular systems! 



■ Sports ■ 1-2 players 

■ SCEE Half-arsed extreme 
sports cobblers Utter nonsense. 
You get snowboards, skateboards, 
'blades, MTBs, 12 courses, ten 
characters, four levels, two players 
- but it's scuppered by cock-eyed 
graphics and sloppy controls. * 
Or try: ESPN Extreme Games 

■ 1 player ■ SCEE ■ More snow, 
more wheels, more garbage. * 
Also available: Snow Racer 

■ 1-2 players ■ Ocean ■ Crude 
and too simple. ** 


ActuaGolf 3 

■ Sports ■ 1-4 players ■ 
Gremlin Interactive Time for 

tee Tee up with eight courses, a 
variety of one-player and multi- 
player tournaments, and some 
lovingly crafted scenery. It doesn't 
offer anything new over other golf 
games, but the slickness of it all, 
and Peter Allis' commentary, brings 
it in well under par. * • ** 
Or try: Actua Golf 2 ■ 1-4 
players ■ Gremlin Interactive ■ 
Well-made, if unsurprising, golf 
sim. •*-• + * 

Actua Ice Hockey 

■ Sports ■ 1-2 players 

■ Gremlin Interactive 
Minority sport for 
psychopaths Surprisingly slow 
and unresponsive, but Actua Ice 
Hocke/s saving grace is its easy- 
to-pick-up control system. You'll 
have players bouncing off the ice 
in no time. •** 

Or try: Wayne Gretsky's 

■ 1-2 players ■ GT Interactive 

■ 3D graphics, but strictly 1D long- 
term appeal. •+• 

Star ratings 

• * * * * Simply the best. A game you really should try. 

• ••• Excellent. Definitely worth your money. 

• *• Good stuff. Not exactly a world beater, 

but fine within its genre. 

• • Strictly average. We say: don't buy it. 

• Really bad news. Avoid at all costs. 

Air Combat 

■ Flight sim ■ 1 player 

■ Namco ■ Platinum 
Decisively not up where it 
belongs Namco is much better at 
racers than flight sims, so while this 

Gun-influenced, mission-based 
arcade-style flyer is fun for a while, 
you'll find that average graphics 
and ultimately tedious gameplay 
eventually take their toll. ••• 

Alien Trilogy 

■ First-person shooter 

■ 1-4 players ■ Acclaim 
Entertainment ■ Platinum 


January | 1 999 1 Arcade 1 163 


Doom-style antics with 
Ripley and "friends" General 
monotony and aliens that look like 
they might fall apart at any minute 
(but are actually far too difficult to 
kill) make this a lot less scary than 
the movies. *■* 

Or try: BRAHMA Force: The 
Assault On Beltlogger 9 
■ 1 player ■ Jaleco ■ Some great 
graphics but uninteresting corridor- 
based levels. * * 


■ RPG ■ 1 player 

■ Psygnosis Old-style RPG 

An absorbing plot and an enticing 
arcadey feel which harks back to 
the days of Zelda. With gorgeous 
graphics and addictive gameplay, 
the emphasis is as much about 
moving and jumping as on solving 
the difficult but logical puzzles. 
• *** 
Or try: Azure Dreams 

■ 1 player ■ Konami ■ Conquer 
the ever-changing tower. *** 

Arcade's Greatest 
Hits: The Atari 
Collection 2 

■ Retro ■ 1-4 players 

■ Midway Nothing to do 
with us, fortunately Millipede, 
Road Blasters, Crystal Castles, 
Marble Madness, Paperboy and 
Gauntlet, in increasing order of 
importance. Unfortunately, none 
of them - not even the eminent 
Gauntlet - holds up well in an age 
when you need massive breasts to 
become a gaming legend. *** 


■ Shooter ■ 1-2 players 

■ Telstar Old-school blasting 
action Take a chunk of Contra on 
the SNES as a basis, add 3D and a 
plentiful supply of power-ups and 
some intuitive controls, and this 
particular slice of arcade action is 
worth its name. Some slow-down, 
and a fluctuating difficulty level 
ruin it, though. ** 


Shooter ■ 1 player ■ GT 
Interactive '50s-style shoot- 
the-aliens game An amusing 
shoot-'em-up with a mission- 
based slant and cartoony graphics. 
The ability to improve your ship 
over time is great, but the controls 
and levels conspire to make life far 
too much of a hassle. *** 

Batman & Robin 

■ Adventure ■ 1 player 

■ Acclaim Entertainment 
As good as the film (yes, 
that bad) A mixture of various 
gaming styles that don't really gel, 
despite the puzzle theme. Poor 
controls and general repetitiveness 
hammer the nails home - at least 
it does the movie justice. * 

Or try: Batman Forever 

■ 1 player ■ Acclaim ■ Poor 
quality scrolling fighting game. * 

return A high for the Toshinden 
series, though still eclipsed by the 
shadow of Tekken. Improvements 
over the original are obvious, but 
it's limited in every respect when 
compared to the Big T *•• 
Or try: Battle Arena 
Toshinden 2 ■ 1-2 players ■ 
SCEE ■ More of the same. **• 

Bio Freaks 

■ Fighter ■ 1-2 players 

■ GT Interactive 
Unhinged human-robot 
hybrid tussling Out-and-out 
polygon fighting fun, including 
massive-weapons-per-fighter and 
counts. With longer fights and 
more moves it could have made 
four stars, but as it stands, it's fast 
- but limited - fun. •** 


■ Adventure ■ 1 player 

■ SCEE Broad-shouldered 
babe-rescuing action hero 

Slow and limited - with plodding 
graphics and horrid controls. The 
puzzles are tricky for all the wrong 
reasons - like trying to find the 
end of a roll of sticky tape with 
chewed fingernails. ** 

Bloody Roar 

■ Fighting ■ 1-2 players 

■ Hudson 3D beat-'em-up 
with added animal magic 

Limited moves, but what there is 
is very quick and smooth. Set apart 
by both its style and the ability of 
its fighters to change into various 
animal forms - nothing new if you 
remember TV's Manimai • • * 
Or try: Cardinal Syn ■ 1-2 
players ■ SCEE ■ Beat-'em-up 
that dispenses with fair play ** 

Bomberman World 

■ Puzzler ■ 1-5 players 

■ Sony/Hudsonsoft Bomber 
bloke's debut on PSX When 
Hudsonsoft suggested that it was 
going to turn the 2D Bomberman 
mazes isometric, the whole world 
screamed. The conversion's here, 
and in one-player mode offers 
endless tedious mazes that only 
differ in speed and boss size, with 
nothing new offered over the first 
Bomberman. Inevitably, however, 
the multi-player is ridiculously 
addictive. *** 

Breath of Fire III 

■ RPG ■ 1 player ■ Virgin 
Interactive Entertainment 
Turn-based isometric role- 
player A genuinely interesting 
story-line {all about combining 
genes to give dragons special 
powers) and a host of characters 
you'll care about, combine to make 
this genuinely involving, while the 
rotatable isometric perspective is 
neat. The pace gets a bit ploddy at 
times, though. **•* 

Brian Lara Cricket 

Sports ■ 1-4 players ■ 
Codemasters Leather-on- 
willow simulator This cricket 
sim is so realistic that you know it's 
your fault when you're losing. It's 
painfully hard half the time (literally 
- batting is much easier than 
bowling), but this is surprisingly 
playable and very weli-crafted, 
with the commentary and graphics 
in particular standing out. **** 

more cartoony, scrappers it takes 
time to adjust to fighting this way 
(and even longer to become truly 
proficient) but there are rewards a- 
plenty if you persevere. **•* 

Bust-A-Move 2 

■ Puzzler ■ 1-2 players 

■ Acclaim Entertainment 
You'll forget sleep exists! 

The simplest and most addictive 
game since some Russian bloke 
had an idea while mucking about 
with his kids' Lego. Just match 
the blobs to clear the screen - 
two-player mode will keep you 
and a mate up all night; try one- 
player and you risk losing every 
friend you ever had. ***** 
Or try: Bust-A-Move 3 ■ 1-2 
players ■ Acclaim Entertainment 

■ Insomnia continues. ••** 

Chessmaster 3D 

■ Puzzler ■ 1 player ■ 
Mindscape If you want PSX 
chess, it's your only option 

More expensive than a real chess 
board, but cheaper than Big Blue, 
this isn't the best- presented game 
in the world. Still, it's laden with 
skill levels and options. *** 

Circuit Breakers 

■ Racing ■ 1-4 players 

■ Mindscape Mario Kart * 
Micro Machines = not quite 
as good as either The varied 
courses and a decent helping of 
speed add up to a fine comedy 
racer. The multi-player game will 
have you waking the neighbours 
with boisterous swearing, such is 
the range of weapons and tactics 
involved. **** 

Colin McRae Rally 

■ Racing ■ 1-2 players 

■ Codemasters Only his 
Mum's ever heard of him 

A departure from the usual racing 
game, with time and damage your 
only opponents. The variety of 
terrain and responsive controls give 
a real feeling of driving feedback - 
it's gratifying to see a racer that 
can compete with GT. **** 

Colony Wars: 

Space shooter ■ 1 player ■ 
Psygnosis Epic space battles, 
in space Looking absolutely 
gorgeous, this epic sequel takes 
your spaceship through a variety 
of missions and all-out explosive 
battles. It's off-puttingly methodical, 
but it provides enough realistic 
space combat to make Star Wars 
fans wet their pants. * * * • 
Or try: Blast Radius ■ 1-2 
players ■ Psygnosis ■ Space 
mission flying antics. *** 

Battle Arena 
Toshinden 3 

■ Fighting ■ 1-2 players I 
SCEE The crazy old men 

Bushido Blade 

■ Fighting ■ 1-2 players 

■ Sony Pugilism for purists 

Using trad weapons, and with 
characters who drop to the floor 
after just one hit, this is the beat- 
'em-up for purists. After other, 

Command & Conquer 

■ Strategy ■ 1 player 

■ Virgin Interactive 
Entertainment ■ Platinum 
The original real-time war 
simulator Manage all your 
resources and send men to their 
deaths. It's extremely popular, solid 
and involving, but it's starting to 
date, and the design of the levels 
and speed of the action make it a 
bit of a bargain. ***** 

Or try: Z 

■ 1 player ■ SCEE ■ Robotic 
action strategy. * * * 

Command & 
Conquer: Red Alert 

■ Strategy ■ 1-2 players 

■ Virgin Interactive 
Entertainment And again... 

The strategy sequel with improved 
graphics and a great link-up game. 
If you don't come to the massacre 

with a mouse, then knock a star 
off the score, but otherwise this is 
a very fine game with a massive 
number of missions. ***** 
Or try: Command & 
Conquer: Retaliation 

■ Strategy ■ 1-2 players ■ Virgin 
Interactive Entertainment ■ An 
update of Red Alert. * * * * 

Cool Boarders 3 

Racing ■ 1-2 player ■ SCEE 
Snowboarding fun all over 

again With a hefty collection of 
tracks, characters and boards, and 
looking a good deal better than 
previous episodes, PlayStation 
snow-fans should get their shivery 
little hands on this one. Smooth 
controls make careering down the 
trick and speed courses a breeze, 
and it's only let down by the iffy 
collision detection. **** 
Or try: Cool Boarders 2 ■ 1-2 
players ■ SCEE ■ Snowboarding 
for the masses. * * * * 

Crash Bandicoot 

■ Platf ormer ■ 1 player 

■ SCEE ■ Platinum 3D antics 
with a mad marsupial The 

supposed challenger to Mario 
emerges as a repetitive, 3D, on-rails 
platformer. Beautiful graphics, and 
a good size, but even at £20 the 
gameplay is too shallow. •** 
Or try: Jersey Devil 

■ 1 player ■ Ocean ■ Tough 
challenge, great cartoon graphics. 

Crash Bandicoot 2 

■ Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ SCEE Pseudo-3D antics, 

again Far better looking than the 
original, and with slightly more to 
do, but the level formats haven't 
been changed significantly and it's 
quick to finish. *** 
Or try: Pitfall 3D 

■ 1 player ■ Activision ■ Solid 3D 
platformer. *** 

Crime Killer 

■ Racing/shooter ■ 1-2 
players ■ Interplay Fuzz of 
the future A mission-based 
shooter. Hunt "Burning Epoch" 
terrorists, using the armed bikes, 
cars and wings at your disposal. 
It's fast, with good graphics, but 
constantly ranges in difficulty. And 
when it's difficult it's very difficult. 
The two-player option seems a bit 
tagged on, too. *** 

Or try: Felony 11-79 

■ 1 player ■ ASCII ■ Short-term 
driving mayhem. ** 


■ Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ Fox Interactive 

3D crocodile adventure 

Lovely-looking cutesy platformer, 
ruined by some odd camera 
angles, poorly-designed levels 
and a complete lack of originality. 
Less of a true 3D environment 
than developer Argonaut would 
have you believe, too. ** 
Or try: Bubsy 3D 

■ 1 player ■ Accolade ■ 
Derivative cash-in. * 

Dead Ball Zone 

■ Sports ■ 1-2 players 

■ GT Interactive Rugby for 
space-age sadists An attempt 
to update the sadly ageing classic 
Speedball for today's violence- 
eager audience. There's plenty of 
blood and vomit, but the stupidly 
fast play, a ball that's too difficult 
to see and the clueless, drunken 
computer players mean it never 
flows properly. * * * 

Dead or Alive 

■ Fighting ■ 1-2 players 

■ SCEE Slick beat-'em-up 

Barren-looking but with quick-as- 
you-like visuals, this makes for a 
slick deviation from 7eWren-style 
fighting through its clever use of 
counter-attacks, and an emphasis 
on chucking people up in the air. 
Sadly, though, Dead or Alive is only 
really distinguished from the horde 

by its tragic "bouncing breasts" 
option. **** 

Destruction Derby 

■ Racing ■ 1-2 players 

■ Psygnosis ■ Platinum 
Early PlayStation racing Buy 

this, and you'll be staring into 
space wondering why for several 
hours each day. The small, poorly 
designed tracks mean there's very 
little fun to be had. Head straight 
to the sequel. ** 

Destruction Derby 2 

■ Racing ■ 1 player 

■ Psygnosis ■ Platinum 
Smashing sequel Making good 
almost all of the faults of the 
original, this sequel is incredibly 
fast, includes varied well-designed 
tracks, and offers more crashes 
than your average PC. And it's a 
mere 20 quid, too. ***** 


■ RPG ■ 1-2 players 

■ Electronic Arts Goblins 
and sorcerers in old-skool 
role-playing Far too simple, with 
little to do except wander around 
medieval environments, engaging 
in both unimaginative fighting and 
chatting. The controls and graphics 
haven't had an easy transition to 
the PlayStation, but the innovative 
co-operative two-player game and 
random map generator pull it from 
the brink. ■** 

Die Hard Trilogy 

■ Shooter/racing ■ 1 player 

■ Electronic Arts ■ Platinum 
Three games in one Excellent 
value for money, this bundle 
includes a Tomb Raider-sty\e 
shooter, a Time Qvs/s-alike and a 
driving game. Obvious effort has 
been expended on each part, both 
in the graphics and gameplay, and 
the three are difficult enough to 
last you for ages. ***** 


■ First-person shooter ■ 1-2 
players ■ GT Interactive 

In the beginning... Superb 
conversion of id's breakthrough 
first-person shooter. The minor 
fact that the graphics are already 
years out of date merely enables 
the excellent level design and the 
simplistic gameplay to shine. Every 
home should have one... ***** 
Or try: Star Wars: Dark 
Forces ■ 1 player ■ Virgin 
Interactive Entertainment ■ Shoot- 
'em-up with Stormtroopers. *** 

Duke Nukem 

■ First-person shooter 

■ 1 player ■ GT Interactive 
"You want some?" An 

outrageously bad-taste first- 
person shooter, starring a crazed 
psychopath, numerous topless 
lovelies and several toilets. Strong 
gameplay, and with levels that are 

ingeniously designed around real- 
life locales, but it's all looking a bit 
dated already. ***• 
Or try: One 

■ 1 player ■ A5C Games ■ 
Slick graphics, big guns. **** 

Everybody's Golf 

■ Sports ■ 1-4 players 

■ SCEE Cartoon-style stick- 
and-ball antics Simplistic looks 
but complex gameplay, with an 
arcade slant that injects more 
speed and a host of secrets to 
earn. Buy Actua Golf if you want 
realistic simulation, but this one's 
great if you don't take your golf 
too seriously. **** 

Or try: Konami Open Golf 

■ 1-2 players ■ Konami 

■ One-course arcade stuff. *** 
Also available: PGA Tour '98 

■ 1-4 players ■ EA Sports 

■ Platinum ■ Two courses, 
crap trousers. *• 

Fade to Black 

■ Adventure ■ 1 player 

■ Electronic Arts ■ Platinum 
Sequel to the classic 
Flashback Looking its age, with 
dull flat-shaded graphics, but still a 
very commendable mix of puzzles, 
running and shooting. It has since 
been done a great deal better, but 
this is fun for the price. * * * * 

Final Fantasy VII 

■ RPG ■ 1 player ■ SCEE 
150 hours of truly epic 
adventure Quite incredible cut- 
scenes, which mix seamlessly with 
the moving characters, exciting 
conflicts and a story-line that will 
have you emotionally involved 
throughout. The random battles 
and linear nature are minor faults, 
but otherwise, it's a near-perfect 
adventure experience. ***** 

Formula 1 '98 

Racing ■ 1-4 players 

■ Psygnosis Purportedly 
accurate driving sim In an 

astonishing climb-down from the 
previous two incarnations, this is 
saddled with a ton of pop-up, 
inadequate views that prevent you 
from seeing far enough ahead and 
horrendous handling. The wealth 
of options and feeling of realism 
save it a little, but not enough. ** 
Or try: Formula 1 '97 

■ 1-2 players ■ Psygnosis ■ 
Vroooom... **** 


■ First-person shooter 

■ 1-2 players ■ Acclaim 
Entertainment Blast bikers 
away Battle to the death in a 
mad scramble to gain the last 
resources of a condemned planet 
in this very tough tunnel-based 
hovercraft shoot-'em-up. The 
controls are tricky, but the sheer 
look of the thing will keep you 
persevering. **** 

Or try: Tunnel B1 

■ 1 player ■ Ocean ■ Fast and 
claustrophobic. *** 


■ Shooter ■ 1 player ■ SCi 
Pilot a biplane, fly into the 
screen, fall asleep The levels 
are huge, but confusing, mostly ill- 
conceived and full of weirdness. 
With only three lives, your death 
comes f rustratingly often, and the 
shoddy graphics and slowdown 
are immensely frustrating. And, on 
a quest for nails to slam into its 
coffin, it tries hard to be funny. * 

G Darius 

■ Shooter ■ 1-2 players 

■ THQ Updated 2D shooter 

164 1 Arcade | January 1 1 999 


15 levels arranged so that you have 
a choice of route don't make this 
game any easier, or any less 
monotonous. It's action-packed 
for shooting fans, and the great 
"attack enemy ship to use their 
weapons" concept is nifty, but 
with so many enemies on screen 
you risk brain bleed. *** 


■ Shooter ■ 1 player 

■ Psygnosis You are the law 

Mission-based shoot-'em-up, with 
plenty of variety and a series of 
interesting world layouts set in 
domed cities, initially as easy to 
control as a three-year-old in a 
supermarket, but stick with it and 
a compulsive experience emerges, 
especially as it manages to slip 
some strategy elements in while 
you're not looking. * * * * * 

Gex 3D: Enter 
the Gecko 

■ Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ Take 2 Interactive Lizard- 
lover's platformer It's after 
Mario's crown, but Gex doesn't 
feel as free-roaming as the Big M 
You do have 125 moves at your 
disposal, and the level design is 
almost as good as Nintendo's. It's 
a barrel of fun, but thanks to its 
appaling sense of humour, not a 
barrel of laughs. **** 

Ghost in the Shell 

■ Shooter ■ 1 player ■ SCEE 
Take on the world in a little 
tank This manga-llcensed offering 
has first-person gunplay, coupled 
with straightforward search and 
chase missions. These are varied, 
but get to the end of each one 
and you're faced with a boss 
who's simply too hard to beat 
The control and structure favours 
stealth and tactics, giving short- 

lived - if frustrating - fun. * * * 
Or try: Assault Rigs ■ 1 player 

■ Psygnosis ■ Doom with tanks. 

Grand Theft Auto 

■ Joy riding ■ 1 player 

■ BMG Interactive 
Controversy ahoy! The shoddy 
graphics and poor speed affect 
the central appeal of kicking in 
civilians and driving whatever 
vehicle you care to purloin, but this 
is still an involving crim-'em-up. Just 
don't look at the graphics on the 
PC version, unless you want to be 
made green with envy. *** 

Gran Turismo 

■ Racing ■ 1-2 players 

■ SCEE Probably the best 
racing game in the world 

Take one measure of outrageously 
good graphics and near-perfect 
handling, throw in immediacy of 
play and almost limitless levels of 
depth, add a dash of replay mode, 
and you've a pleasure pie that 
can't be missed. A masterpiece. 

Heart of Darkness 

■ Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ Ocean Long-awaited 2D 
adventure, and it shows Four 
years out of date, this Gallic epic 
about a boy and his wee doggie is 
frustratingly difficult, despite hints 
thrown up at various points, and 
descends into trial-and -error on 
too many occasions. It's saved by 
it's size, though. *** 

Or try: Hercules 

■ 1 player ■ Electronic Arts 

■ SNES-style cartoon platformer. 

■KV 1 MR *'-' 1r ifOJVAM! d 

game in the world Konami 
sticks one up its desperate licence- 
toting rivals by beautifully honing 
its original killer title. Payability is 
smoother, tactics more subtle, 
graphics more well realised, goal- 
scoring more rewarding and that 
through-pass will send shivers of 
ecstasy along your spine. Plus Tony 
Gubba's commentary is oddly 
soothing. ***** 
Or try: Kick Off '97 

■ 1-2 players ■ Maxis ■ There's 
no prize for second place. ** 

Jeremy McGrath 
Supercross '98 

■ Racing ■ 1 player 

■ Acclaim Entertainment 
Eat soil less often than you 
would in real life Very fast, but 
far too easy, so this dirt bike sim 
jettisons any sense of realism. The 
graphics are poor, but the track 
editor adds an minor element of 
longevity if you're the creative 
type who likes motorcross. ** 

Kick Off World 

■ Sports management 

■ 1-2 players ■ Anco 
Direction and playing 
combined The management 
section suffers from a distinct lack 
of options but just about passes 
muster, while the playing section 
looks terrible, has flawed keepers 
and chucks out goals every couple 
of minutes. The lack of depth and 
excitement make Kick Off roughly 
comparable to watching week-old 
re-runs of ITV footy coverage. * 

ISS Pro '98 

■ Sports ■ 1-4 players 

■ Konami The best football 

Kula World 

■ Puzzler ■ 1-2 players 

■ SCEE Indecently addictive 
puzzler Ball-rolling-impossibly-on- 
a-floating-maze game. Hard to get 
into, but once you're sucked in 
you'll be hooked, mostly because 

of the well-designed controls and 
head-scratching levels. You won't 
stop playing these colourful scenes 
until you've literally scratched your 
own head off. **** 
Or try: Kurushi 

■ 1-2 players ■ SCEE 

■ Mind-twisting block-shifting. 


Puzzle ■ 1 player 

■ Psygnosis Save multiple 
midgets from hideous death 

The latest instalment of this long- 
running series steps back to the 
roots of the crazy little 2D suicidal 
maniacs. Click on little men to help 
them avoid traps and get safely 
home, scream at the screen in 
frustration and find it impossible to 
stop playing. Still, it's all looking 
very dated. *** 


■ Shooter ■ 1 player 

■ Gremlin Interactive 

■ Platinum Mass murder 
quest Starring a whole series of 
unhinged nutters, this bloke- 
bloodbath has no pretensions 
about being anything other than 
mindless shooting, complete with 
gore-splattering explosions and 
weapons that would make Arnie 
blush, it's very difficult to see 
what's going on, and the sheer 
number of similar mazes will have 
you very bored, very quickly. * * 

Megaman Legends 

RPG ■ 1 player ■ Virgin 
Interactive RPG - Japanese 
style The long-awaited 3D 
update of Megaman's '80s plat- 
form/shooting adventures. The 
addition of an RPG element has 
provided some depth, but the 
repetitive nature of the game - 
destroying big robot after big 
robot - could put you off. *** 

Micro Machines V3 

■ Racing ■ 1-8 players 

■ Codemasters ■ Platinum 
Tiny cars race around your 
living room The old 2D game 
souped up into pseudo-3D for 

a modern audience, and it's a 

beauty There are 30 innovative 
courses, based on kitchen tables 
and school desks, coupled with 
a multi-player game that's just 
beautifully designed and great 
overhead camera. And all of this 
for just 20 quid? We must be 
dreaming. ***** 
Or try: Motor Mash 

■ 1-4 players ■ Ocean 

■ Old idea with a new twist. * 

Mortal Kombat 4 

■ Fighting ■ 1-2 players 

■ GT Interactive "Come and 
'ave a go if you think..." 

Although in 3D, this fails to take 
advantage of the extra dimension, 
thus boiling down to the same old 
tedious MK features again and 
again. The controls and characters 
look incredibly over- fa miliar, and it's 
not a patch on Tekken 3. Strictly 
for fans of the series. *** 
Or try: Mortal Kombat 
Trilogy ■ 1-2 players 

■ GT Interactive ■ Everything 
from the previous three. *** 


■ Racing ■ 1-2 players 

■ Gremlin Interactive 
Furious racing action A 

futuristic racer, which at 50fps is so 
fast and smooth you'll be on the 
edge of your seat throughout. The 
courses aren't fantastic, but with 
ten cars each race, the sheer 
ferocious glee of screaming past 
the opposition makes for a pant- 
dampening experience. **** 

Mr Domino 

■ Puzzler ■ 1 player ■ JVC 
Does exactly what it says on 

the tin A PSX version of those 
Record Breakers-style domino- 
toppling events, with a central 
character cursed with the inability 
to stop walking. Work out what's 
going on, and this gets addictive, 
but it suffers from that typically 
Japanese too-easy feel. *** 

Music: Music Creation 
for the PlayStation 

Music creation ■ 1 player ■ 
Codemasters Custom-build 
your very own techno Create 
your own toons and a psychedelic 

polygon video to go with them, 
using a system of manipulating 
little chunks of music and video. 
This fulfils its purpose - enabling 
anyone to create pumping dance - 
but it's too difficult for novices and 
too insulting for more professional 
deck-spinners. *** 
Or try: Fluid 

■ Music ■ 1 player ■ SCEE ■ 
Interactive aquatic music. *•* 


■ Shooter ■ 1-2 players 

■ Gremlin Interactive Old- 
style shooter Traditional shoot- 
'em-up, set in futuristic tunnels, 
and more on-rails than Gremlin 
would have you believe. It feels 
similar to Tempest, and is good 
fun in a retro sense, but despite its 
addictive powers, it's just not that 
exciting. *** 

Namco Museum 1 

■ Retro ■ 1 player ■ Namco 
Galaga, Pac-Man, Pole 
Position, Rally X The first of 
the five-strong museum collection 
is certainly the best, housing the 
least obscure games of the various 
volumes. It might provide nostalgic 
relief, but this lot are a bit too 
simple for today's audience. *** 

NBA Live '98 

■ Sports ■ 1-4 players 

■ EA Sports 3D basketball An 

improvement over the two earlier 
incarnations, these 3D players have 



My head hurts! 

Fancy straining your brain? Here's our guide to 
the best mind-meddlers money can buy... 

1. Tetris 

■ Game Boy ■ Nintendo 

Accuse us of playing it safe all you like, but this block- 
based bamboozler is still the most absorbing way of 
testing your grey matter to its limit. Knobbly blocks fall 
down the screen, and threaten to spill over the top unless you fit 
them together, jigsaw-fashion. Designer Alexey Pajitnov (who was. 

sadly, recently shot dead) used 
his mathematical prowess to craft 
7efr« around the limits of the 
human brain. So if you know 
anyone who either doesn't like, 
or can't cope with, Tetris, you 
can legitimately claim that their 
brain must be sub-standard. 

2. Bust-A-Move 

■ PlayStation/N64 ■ Acclaim 

In one-player mode, Bust-A-Move 
is a maddeningly addictive battle 
to match like-coloured bubbles 
and prevent the rotund lovelies 
from swamping the screen 
completely. In two-player mode, 
where successfully removed 
bubbles magically transport over 
to your competitor's ever-filling 
screen, time is distorted and 
important meetings ignored. 
The presence of over 200 screens, 
and the appearance of veteran 
videogame stars Bub and Bob, are 
the delicious cherries on top. 

3. Super Puzzle 
Fighter 2 

■ PlayStation ■ Capcom 

When asked to develop a puzzle 
game, Capcom didn't make any 
special effort - it simply threw 
Tetris and Bust-A-Move into a 
bubbling cauldron, said the magic 
words, and then watched as this 

infuriating, but addictive, brain- 
buster emerged. Arranging 
coloured gems into lines is made 
all the more enjoyable by the use 
of Street fighter-style characters 
and combos, and a host of crazy 
Japanese trimmings. 

4. Kula World 

■ PlayStation ■ SCEE 

A refreshingly original puzzler, 
this great Swedish entry secures 
douze points in the Eurovision 
of videogames. Guide a rolling, 
bouncing ball towards keys, avoid 
various obstacles, and sense your 
brain slowly falling to bits. It all 
feels strangely Dali-esque, as 
you negotiate wooden mazes 
suspended impossibly in the sky, 
and a sphere rolling over it all in a 
gravity-defying way. Mad. 

5. Wetrix 

■ N64/PC ■ Ocean 

Wetrix asks you to build lakes and 
fill them up, before evaporating 
the water for big points, and 
despite its odd setting and brain- 
boiling intensity, begins to betray 
its similarity to Tetris after a few 
minutes play. It looks stunning, 
with splashing water, fire bombs, 
ducks, and even a lovely rainbow. 
The only real problem is that it'll 
almost certainly make you want 
to go to the toilet all the time. 

January | 1 999 | Arcade 1 165 


enough options to satisfy anyone 
who sits up at night watching 
hoopage on Channel 4. Even with 
all the stats, though, it's dull. * * 
Or try: NBA Hangtime 

■ 1-4 players ■ GT Interactive 

■ Competent but uninspired. ** 

Need for Speed 3 

■ Racing ■ 1-2 players ■ EA 
Sports I feel the need... Plenty 
of modes to make the game last 
longer, great graphics and a good 
sense of speed (lucky, what with 
the name and everything). The 
chance to leg it from the police 
and the two-player mode make 
this the best NFS so far, but it has 
been overtaken on the inside by 
Gran Turismo. * * * • 

Or try: Test Drive 4 

■ 1-2 players ■ EA Sports 

■ Smooth graphics, neat tracks, 
intuitive controls. **** 

NFL Blitz 

Sports ■ 1-2 players ■ GT 
Interactive US f ooty simpli- 
fied and made fun Departing 
from the usual American football 
style (overloading on rules and 
stopping for a rest every other 
minute), and moving to something 
more worthwhile (emphasis on 
speed, simple controls, usage of 
fists), this is top fun. It's slightly 
repetitive and looks glitchy but 
that's easy to forgive. **** 

NFL Extreme 

Sports ■ 1-4 players ■ SCEE 
US footy simplified and 
made dull Tries to make Yank 
football "easy" and "fun", but, 
unlike GT's Nft Blitz, fails miserably. 
The graphics are a mess, making 
creating plays near-impossible, and 
your team seems quite happy to 

carry on playing without your help. 
And someone should tell Sony 
that insane screaming footballers 
are very unfunny indeed. ** 

NHL '99 

Sports ■ 1-2 players 

■ Electronic Arts Ice hockey 
for mother puckers Intelligent 
team-mates and all the stats you'll 
need aren't enough to save this 
disappointing take on the sadist's 
favourite sport. The puck tends to 
find itself in the net for most of 
the game, at the expense of any 
proper hockey action. ** 

Or try: NHL Powerplay '98 

■ 1-2 players ■ Virgin ■ Sturdy 
but slow. * * 

Ninja: Shadow of 

■ Action adventure 

■ 1 player ■ EIDOS 
Interactive Here comes the 
man in black... A great range of 
punches, kicks and magic, coupled 
with a decent amount of switch- 
finding and the like, make this 
enjoyable enough. But, sadly, the 
odd camera system spoils the 
lovely graphics, and overall, the 
game is horribly difficult. *** 
Or try: Soviet Strike 

■ 1 player ■ EA Classics 

■ Platinum ■ More of the same. 

Oddworld: Abe's 

Puzzle ■ 1-2 players ■ GT 
Interactive Puzzly platform 
game with agile alien Wander 
through screens of 2D platforms 
and rescue your Mudokon friends, 
solving puzzles along the way. 
Often infuriating rather than tricky, 
but with a host of neat touches 
and graphics that are guite good 
enough to frame and hang on 
your wall, this is a long-lasting and 
enjoyable challenge. * * * • 

Or try: Oddworld: Abe's 

■ Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ GT Interactive ■ Platinum ■ 
Save cute-but-ugly alien from the 
meat factory. * * * * * 


Platformer ■ 1 player ■ 
Psygnosis Disappointing 
third-person adventure 
thing The first real Tomb Raider 
clone, with a sizeable slice of RPG 
chucked in and one-move-and- 
you're-dead tricks and traps. The 
sprawling levels promise much, but 
the controls are dreadful and the 
whole experience is too difficult to 
extract any fun from. ** 

Pandemonium 2 

■ Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ BMG Interactive It's chaos 
in there Crystal Dynamics didn't 
take criticism of the original on 
board, and the augmented breasts 
of female lead Nikki are the only 
change here. Pandemonium 2 still 
suffers from basic platform sins 
(like the leap of faith), and the lack 
of challenge and appalling camera 
will make you cry. ** 

Or try: Pandemonium 

■ Platformer ■ 1 player ■ BMG 
Interactive ■ Platinum ■ Two 
sorcerer's apprentices jump about. 

PaRappa the Rapper 

■ Rapping ■ 1 player ■ SCEE 
Puppy love songs It's time to 
join the the rapping dog with 


It drome me 
round the bend 

Everyone's played Super Mario Kart on the N64, but what 
of the original SNES version? Don't ask Rich Pelley. 

■ 9.00am on Monday 
morning. Physics, paper 2. 
2.00pm the same Monday 
afternoon. History, paper 
1. Up at 7.00am, back at 
11.00am. Really need to 
brush up on the Treaty of 
Versailles... Oh, okay, just 
couple of quick Star Cup 
laps, 150cc, natch. But it's 
so much better with two 
players: "Want to come 
over for a quick game of 
Mario Kart?" 

And this activity was 
considered to be a good 
day's 6CSE revision. Maybe, 
I'd convinced myself, I'd 
sit down to English and 
Question One would read 
"Oh, stuff Hamlet Where 
are you going to find the 
short-cut in the Mushroom 
Cup Ghost House?" "Easy," 
I would reply: "just use the 
feather on the penultimate 
bend." I'd get an A. I'd get 
12 A's, as long as I could 
race around the Rainbow 



©1992 Nintendo 

Road at full pelt without 
ever falling off. 

SNES Mario Kart was 
utterly fantastic, the tracks 
awesome, the handling of 
the karts phenomenal, the 
powerups a stroke of pure 
genius. There was so much 
to learn, to love, to cherish. 

It would have remained 
timeless if it wasn't for the 
appearance of Super Mario 
Kart on the N64 which, to 
avoid getting addicted to 
all over again, I promised 
myself I'd never play. 

Still, though, I wonder 
if it's any good? 

"attitude". A selection of fantastic 
tunes make this brilliantly funny 
and completely original. Hit the 
buttons so you rap "Good" and 
you're sure to finish PaRappa in 
an afternoon, but this said, it's 
still something you should have a 
lot of fun with. **** 

Point Blank 

■ Light-gun shooter ■ 1-4 
players ■ Namco Grab your 

gun Only the Japanese could 
create a shooting gallery featuring 
ninjas and piranhas, stick in a four- 
player mode, and still make it one 
of the most weirdly addictive 
gameplay experiences this side of 
Time Crisis. * * * * 
Or try: Crypt Killer 

■ 1 player ■ Konami ■ Poor- 
man's light-gun fight. * 

Pool Shark 

Sports ■ 1-2 player ■• 
Gremlin A game "baized" on 
the popular sport Almost 
identical to other snooker games, 
the graphics are okay, but it 
inexplicably replaces the friendly 
customisable power bar with 
some golf-style click-at-the-right- 
. moment nonsense. And is playing 
snooker on your own actually all 
that much fun? The answer is no, 
fact fans. *•* 

Porsche Challenge 

■ Racing ■ 1-2 players 

■ Sony ■ Platinum Cruise in 
expensive cars Stunning light- 
sourcing and lovely sunsets make 
this one of the best looking racers, 
and 24 tracks, including variations 
on each of the basic circuits, will 
ensure longevity. Realistic handling 
(so we're told) and the easier-to- 
control arcade mode should keep 
wannabe owners happy for days. 
• •** 

Or try: Formula 1 ■ Racing 

■ 1-2 players ■ Psygnosis ■ Good 
looking, but an ultimately dull 
experience. *** 

Poy Poy 

■ Platformer ■ 1-4 players 

■ Konami Chuck stuff about 

Chucking bombs, rocks and even 
your opponents at each other is 
the aim - a console Jerry Springer 
Show, if you will. Despite the 
arenas, ranging from forest to 
desert, the one-player game lacks 
variety and runs slowly. The mufti- 
player option - on the other hand 
- provides pure, if freaky looking, 
worthwhile entertainment. *** 

Premier Manager '98 

■ Sports management 

■ 1-4 players ■ Gremlin 
Interactive Football 
management for everyone 

It's the most comprehensive 
simulation this side of Ruud's 
office, and yet it's also clearly 
presented and easy to understand. 
Would-be Noddies (if there be any) 
will enjoy months of re-creating 
England's various spectacular 
World Cup crash-outs. *•** 

Rage Racer 

■ Racing ■ 1 player ■ Namco 
Arcade racing in your house 

The third in the Ridge Racer series 
is speedy, moodily good looking 
and laden with options. This is the 
definitive racer if you like your 
racing a bit more "Woah-woah- 
woooaaahhhh!" than Gran Turismo. 
Let down only by the lack of a 
split-screen option. ***** 
Or try: Peak Performance 

■ 1 player ■ Electronic Arts ■ 
Great editing, poor driving. • 

Rampage World Tour 

■ Smash-'em-up ■ 1 player 

■ GT Interactive Old-school 
bizarro building-smasher 

An attempt to bring a very ofd 
arcade game up to date for a '90s 
audience. It was original and fun at 
the time, but now it falls at the 
first hurdle by being too simplistic, 
too easy and looking very poor 

indeed. Check out the three 
massive monsters, though. * 

Rapid Racer 

■ Racing ■ 1-2 players 

■ SCEE Powerboat racing 

The random "track" generator is a 
good inclusion, and the hi-res 
visuals will undoubtedly make jaws 
drop, but the handling and lack of 
realism causes it to sink slowly and 
gracefully to the bottom of the 
gaming ocean. ** 
Or try: Jet Rider 2 

■ 1-2 players ■ SCEE ■ Haphazard 
water fun. ** 


■ Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ Ubisoft ■ Platinum Old- 
school platformer, now 
looking a bit wrinkly Cheap, 
but that's about all it has in its 
favour. It's very 16-bit, and doesn't 
have anything that would push a 
dear old Mega Drive. It's packed 
with eye-wrenching colour and 
it's horrendously difficult; just say 
"No!", kids. ** 

Resident Evil 

■ Action adventure 

■ 1 player ■ lap com Boo! A 

decent interactive movie at long 
last. Genuinely frightening and 
the first game to achieve a proper 
film-like anticipation of the next 
scene, aided in part by brilliantly 
poor acting. Detailed backgrounds 
and a great plot. Keep a clean pair 
of pants handy, kids! ***** 
Or try: Clock Tower 

■ 1 player ■ ASCI! ■ Insanity, 
intrigue and ghastly Japanese 
murder. ** 

Resident Evil: 
Director's Cut 

■ Action adventure ■ 1 
player ■ Capcom Added 
value version of RSI, plus a 
demo of the sequel Now that 
we have RE2, the significance of 
the demo here is diminishing, but if 
you still don't have the original, this 
is a nigh-on essential purchase. 
This is the Japanese version, so is 
bound to attract the hardcore 
gamer. ***** 

Resident Evil 2 

■ Action adventure 

■ 1 player ■ Capcom Scary 
sequel to the original gore- 
fest The two-character feature is 
a touch gimmicky, and the puzzles 
are similar to the first incarnation, 
but RE2 is better than the original 
in all other respects. The improved 
script and acting, and the wildly 
increased zombie count, will scare 
your skin off. ***** 

Or try: The City of Lost 

■ 1 player ■ Psygnosis ■ Fiddly, 
French. ** 

Ridge Racer 

■ Racer ■ 1-2 players 

■ Namco ■ Platinum Fast 
car action The definitive arcade 
racer. Looks absolutely beautiful, 
but it's the fantastic arcade-style 
handling and ridiculous speed that 
should have you racing over the 
three one-player tracks for quite 
unreasonable amounts of your life. 

The five-course two-player link-up 
mode finishes. off an utterly 
brilliant package. ***** 
Or try: Ridge Racer 

■ 1 player ■ Namco ■ Platinum ■ 
Brilliant, but smoothly overtaken by 
Revolution. **** 

Rival Schools 

Fighter ■ 1-2 players 

■ Virgin Interactive Teachers 
and students take to the 
ring Absolutely mad Grange Hill- 
style fighter, featuring rival high 
schools, with over-the-top moves 
and a huge selection of modes 
and sub-games. It's not technically 
great, but it's a whole heap of fun, 
and its relative simplicity and easily 
pulled-off moves make it a good 
option if you usually steer clear of 
smack-'em-ups. **** 

Road Rash 3D 

■ Racing ■ 1-6 players 

■ Electronic Arts Manx TT 
meets WWF With four nasty 
gangs to get involved in, this is the 
racer for people who like the look 
of bruises on a man. The racing is 
supplemented by smacking other 
riders about, but unfortunately the 
two don't balance well in practice. 
It's got speed, though, plenty of 
cool bikes to choose from, and it's 
certainly a bit of a looker. *** 

Rogue Trip 

Shooter ■ 1-2 player ■ GT 
Interactive Bang-bang, 
boom-boom driving game 

The "hilarious" taxi driver-based 
plot bears no relevance to the 
game, and the variety of ways in 
which you can attack other cars 
are strangely unsatisfying. It's 
pretty, and the ability to shoot 
anything that moves (or doesn't 
move) is welcome, but spending 
half an hour destroying cars on 
each level is never liable to grip you 
in the right places. ** 


Shooter ■ 1 player ■ Virgin 
Interactive Combo of classic 
scrolling shooters Classic 
shooters R-Type parts un et deux 
presented for your delectation; 
emulated rather than converted 
and therefore closer than close 
to the originals. The lovely level 
designs, the perfect power-ups 
and the sheer addictiveness of it 
all, squeezed into your little 
portable TV. Sweet. * * * * 


■ Racing ■ 1-4 players 

■ Ubisoft Cute racer A faithful 
attempt at a Mario Kart clone, but 
rather less immediate, it has a 
rather difficult control system that 
rewards patience, and greater 
deviations in style and handling 
between the individual vehicles, 
but the multi-player game option 
- Mario's strong point - is not as 
enjoyable. *** 

Sentinel Returns 

■ Strategy ■ 1-2 players 

■ Psygnosis Classic '80s 
tactics Your aim is to absorb the 
Sentinel, who sits on the highest 
point on the landscape, and the 
attempt has lost little in translation 
from 8-bit to PSX, especially as 
the graphics have all been kept 
deliberately low key to maintain 
the feel of the '80s original. Eerie, 
massive and - praise the Lord - a 
successful retro game. **** 

Soul Blade 

■ Fighting ■ 1-2 players 

■ Namco ■ Platinum Take 

on Tekken Similar to the Tekken 

166 1 Arcade | January 1 1999 



series, with huge weapons, and 
rather good. The graphics are top, 
and the 3D moves will have your 
eyes popping out of your skull. As 
you're stabbed in the back with a 
humongous sword. ***** 

Spawn: The Eternal 

■ Action ■ 1 player ■ SCEE 
Movie-based nonsense 

Looking very similar to Lara Croft's 
infamous adventures, but lacking 
the excellent level design, depth of 
gameplay or graphics, Spawn tries 
to marry fighting and dungeon 
exploration, but there're no prizes 
for failing so miserably. * 

Spice World 

■ Music/dancing ■ 1 player 

■ SCEE ■ Platinum The fab 
five... er, four Looking a little 
rushed, this is the chance you've 
waited for. Choreograph cartoon 
Spices to their own music There 
are so few moves and rewards for 
success, that it's (inevitably) one 
for the fans, and liable to grate. 
Rather like the Girls themselves. * 

Spyro the Dragon 

Platf ormer ■ 1 player ■ SCEE 
Platf orming with a camp 
dinosaur Starring a purple My 
Little Pony/dinosaur hybrid, this 
gorgeous 3D platformer is partly 
aimed at the kids, as the initially 
simplistic and dull early levels 
demonstrate. But the dragon- 
rescuing missions and platforming 
theme are well-crafted, and the 
worlds are huuuge. **** 

Street Fighter EX 
Plus Alpha 

■ Fighting ■ 1-2 players 

■ Capcom Another in the 
beat-'em-up series Conversion 
of the first 3D SF coin-op, with 
loads of extra bits. Excellent speed 
and good backgrounds, as well as 
pleasingly familiar moves and style, 
make it just as intuitive as its great 
predecessors. * * * * 

Or try: Marvel Super Heroes 

■ 1-2 players ■ Capcom ■ 2D 
super hero combat. **** 
Also available: Street Fighter 
Collection ■ 1-2 players ■ Virgin 
Interactive Entertainment 

■ Missed opportunity for a history 
lesson. *** 

Super Puzzle 
Fighter 2 

■ Puzzler ■ 1-2 players 

■ Virgin Interactive 
Entertainment Superb 

Tetr/s-style puzzling Mix Tetris 
and Bust-A-Move, add some Street 
Fighter kiddie characters, and you 
have one of the best puzzlers of all 
time. It's insanely addictive in two- 
player mode, but try one-player 
and you'll have the family banging 
on your door, wondering where 
you've been for the past month. 


■ Fighting ■ 1-2 players 

■ Namco Round one... fight! 

Usurped by its progeny, but the 
first Tekken combines slick visuals 
with a series of moves that would 
have your mother fainting to the 
floor. Plenty to do in one-player 
mode, and only surpassed in two- 
player by its sequel. **** 
Or try: Star Wars: Teras Kasi 

■ 1-2 players ■ Virgin Interactive 
Entertainment ■ Enjoyable, Star 
l/Vars-enhanced beat-'em-up. 

Tekken 2 

■ Fighting ■ 1-2 players 

■ Namco Round two... fight! 

Again, it used to be the best beat- 
'em-up... until Tekken 3 arrived. The 
character models wouldn't look 
out of pface in a pre-rendered 
demo, the one-player game is 
totally engrossing (uncommon for 
a fighter) and there are plenty of 
moves, bosses and secrets to get 
your teeth into. * * * * * 
Or try: Dark Stalkers 

■ 1-2 players ■ Virgin Interactive 
Entertainment ■ Over-the-top 
beat-'em-up. *** 

Tekken 3 

■ Fighting ■ 1-2 players 

■ Namco Round Thr... oh, 
never mind Here they are again. 
Similar to Tekken 2, but a major 
improvement in almost every way 
- graphically flawless and new 
moves give something for both 
newcomers and veterans. There's 
so much to do, that it's almost the 
Mario of fighting games. But no 
cute stuff. ***** 

Or try: Dynasty Warriors 

■ 1 player ■ Ocean ■ Gorgeous 
looking, but still no match for the 
Tekken series. * * * 


Fighter ■ 1 player 

■ Activision Lara Croft and 
the oriental arts combine 

Starring a bloke who gets about 
with the aid of a grappling hook, 
this hugely atmospheric kung-fu 
fighting/exploring game looks 
suspiciously similar to the Tomb 
Raider games. If the camera hadn't 
made things difficult, and the 
graphics had been less glitchy, this 
could have been a five. **** 

Tennis Arena 

■ Sports ■ 1-2 players 

■ Ubisoft Comedy tennis 
antics Has much to offer, in a 
long tradition of cutesy tennis 
"simulators", but unfortunately 
none of these offerings are really 
anything new. It also jettisons 
many of the more complicated 
tactics for simplicity's sake, leaving 
it with little depth. ** 

Test Drive 4x4 

Racing ■ 1 player 

■ Electronic Arts Racing for 
the tedious Six courses, five 
classes of car and a whole variety 
of environments to race about in 
should be adequate, but 4x4 looks 
terrible, and there's an inexplicable 
lack of speed. The incessant over- 
excited commentary, coupled with 
flying up into the air at every 
bump, will ultimately get on your 
nerves. ** 

Or try: Test Drive 5 ■ 1-2 
players ■ Electronic Arts Driving 
again, then. ** 

Theme Hospital 

■ Strategy ■ 1 player 

■ Electronic Arts Medical 
resource management More 
of a geriatric hospital these days, 
and the lack of PSX mouse control 
can make it a sod to play. It's okay, 
but this build-your-own-hospital- 
illnesses strategy is looking a little 
bit Bloaty Head in today's age of 
Command & Conquer and 
Warhammer. *** 

the longevity - just feel the power. 


Or try: Judge Dredd 

■ 1 player ■ Gremlin Interactive 

■ Enjoyable 3D blaster. * * 
Or try: Maximum Force 

■ 1 player ■ GT Interactive 

■ Tired, repetitive, frustrating. ** 


Racing ■ 1-2 player 

■ Codemasters Yet more 
touring car mayhem Sweet 
driving action with a garage-full of 
cars that ail handle differently and 
embrace accurate driving physics 
(whatever that is). If it wasn't for 
its intense difficulty, this'd be the 
perfect racer, with very accurate 
courses and speed, and a real 
smoothness that'll genuinely 
frighten you. Rev on! **** 

Or try: TOCA Touring Car 

■ 1 player ■ Codemasters ■ One 
of the first proper racing sims. 

Tomb Raider 

■ Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ EIDOS Interactive Indiana 
Jones meets Melinda 
Messenger It made Lara Croft a 
global icon and shoved many 
positive images of computer 
games into the mass media, but it 
was the excellent level design and 
atmosphere that sold the game. 
Tomb Raider wiped off some of 
Mario's smile, and showed that a 
pretty face and great gameplay 
aren't mutually exclusive. ***** 
Or try: Deathtrap Dungeon 

■ 1 player ■ EIDOS Interactive 

■ Poor graphics and a worrying 
camera. *** 

Also available: Rosco 

■ 1 player ■ SCEE ■ Garish, but 
fun and simple. ** 

Time Crisis 

■ Light-gun shooter 

■ 1 player ■ Namco Go for 
your gun The innovative "duck 
and reload" option is present, as is 
the G-Con 45 light gun. Both make 
for exciting, bloody and flowing 
play that relies on pure speed. 
With bonus levels as a reward for 
performance, don't worry about 

Tomb Raider II 

■ Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ EIDOS Interactive "Stop 
staring at my butt!" Here she 
is, then, back for her second 
adventure, with 18 levels, a few 
new moves and vehicles to drive, 
increased speed and rather better 
controls. The level designs, which 
in some ways surpass the original, 
make this one (another) classic 

Or try: Nightmare Creatures 

■ 1 player ■ SCEE ■ Simplistic 
exploration. ** 


■ Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ SCEE Porcine platform 
power Relying on secrets and 
level design to carry it through, 
rather than visuals or elaborate 
controls, Tombi works a treat. A 
series of innovative tasks to carry 
out throughout the game makes 
it part platformer, part RPG and a 
bit special. And the downside? Too 
much hammed-up acting. *** 

Tommi Makinen Rally 

■ Racing ■ 1-2 players 

■ Europress Rallying game 

Suffers when compared to Colin 
McRae, in terms of level of realism 
and speed. There are 130 tracks 
and you can create more of your 
own, but with a far better game 
out there, there seems little point 
in buying this. *** 

Treasures of 
the Deep 

■ Adventure ■ 1 player 

■ SCEE Underwater 
exploration The lack of levels 
is compensated for by a sharply 
rising difficulty curve and a wide 

variety of both weapons and 
exploratory missions - from 
crashed jumbo jets to Aztec cities. 
The underwater aspect is a bit of 
a gimmick, though. * * * * 

Total NBA '98 

■ Sports ■ 1-8 players 

■ Sony Get in the hoop A sim 

which requires a degree of real 
determination to both learn and 
succeed, thanks to intelligent 
computer-controlled opponents. 
A great create-a-player mode, a 
whole range of options and total 
control over your players mean 
that, once it's flowing, Total NBA 
'98 is as addictive and beautiful to 
watch as the real thing (a subjective 
opinion, obviously). **** 

Track & Field 

Sports ■ 1-4 players 

■ Konami ■ Platinum 
Bash buttons till you're red 

raw An update to that age-oid 
game skill, "Bash the buttons like 
crazy to run as fast as you can". 
The polygonal competitors look 
lovely, and they all move quite 
convincingly, although the 11 
events are rather similar to each 
other. For the most fun, get some 
mates round for a competition. 
Just be ready with the Band Aid 
for your battered fingers. **** 

True Pinball 

Pinball ■ 1 player ■ Ocean 

■ Platinum Flipping mad 

One of the best pinball sims, but 
that doesn't make it an essential 
purchase, unless you're too scared 
to go down the arcade. Across the 
four tables, the choice of 2D and 
3D views doesn't help when the 
visuals are so poor, but the physics 
of the ball work well, and there're 
the obligatory multi-ball and video 
displays. *** 

Vigilante 8 

■ Racing ■ 1-2 players 

■ Activision Destructive 
'70s-inf luenced driving 
shoot-'em-up Blowing up 
buildings and cars using "crayzee" 
70s vehicles sounds great, but 
with just more destruction per 
extra level and no real "woomph" 
behind the explosions, monotony 
is hot on your heels. *•* 

Or try: Twisted Metal 2 ■ 1-2 
players ■ SCEE ■ Futuristic first- 
person shooter. *** 


■ Shooter ■ 1 player 

■ Ocean Mission-based 
shoot-'em-up Supposedly free- 
flying, but with barriers that will 
smack you up should you deviate, 
repetition that sees you hitting 
easy target after easy target, and 
a very strange camera angle. Too 
dark, and far too easy. ** 


■ Strategy ■ 1-2 players 

■ Electronic Arts Action 
orientated strategy game 

The missions are simple and limited 
in number, but this is a very worthy 
action-based alternative to C&C. 
The wide range of vehicles you 
can control, and the capture-the- 
ffag two-player game, will keep 
you laughing as you watch men 
die. •••* 

Dark Omen 

■ Strategy ■ 1 player 

■ Electronic Arts Sequel to 
the fantasy-based RPG This 
suffers because of the joypad 
control and, as you scrap on the 
polygon-based battle grounds, 

earning cash for more weaponry, 
the regular feeling of not quite 
understanding what's going on, 
and the need to repeat certain 
missions many times over, makes 
this one for the fans only. *** 

Wild Arms 

■ RPG ■ 1 player ■ SCEE 
Huge role-play adventure 

Strong RPG, but eclipsed by the 
shadow of Squaresoft's seminal 
classic Final Fantasy VII. Suffers 
from Final Fantasy's random battle 
syndrome, and the slick, but retro- 
looking visuals strip away much of 
the feeling of involvement, but it's 
still very absorbing. **** 

Wild 9 

Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ Interplay Oddly named 
top blaster Looks and feels a 
little like Pandemonium, but it's 
distinguished by its deeply scary 
mechanical arm that helps you get 
about and smash things up. Deep 
down, it's a 2D platformer, and the 
difficulty level is all over the place, 
but the innovations - such as 
using killed enemies to help you 
progress - make for an involving 
and exciting experience. **** 


■ Racing ■ 1-2 players 

■ Psygnosis ■ Platinum 
The game that made the 
PlayStation the console of 
choice It boasts the soundtrack 
that helped made gaming "cool", 
but unforgiving controls and nasty 
opposing craft mean you'll need 
perseverance. Your reward sees 
you careering down classic neon 
tracks at incredible speeds and 
throwing up your lunch. ***** 

WipEout 2097 

■ Racing ■ 1-2 players 

■ Psygnosis A sequel 100 
years in the making A better 
bet than the original for the casual 
racer, as the learning curve is more 
gentle, but the new, more difficult 
class Psygnosis has added should 
make the veterans weep. Comes 
with excellent CPU opposition, 
more weapons and the twistiest 
tracks this side of Alton Towers. 

World Cup '98 

■ Sports ■ Multi-player 

■ EA Sports Sophisticated 
stadium football The classiest 
football package about, and the 
only one where soundly whipping 
Argentina gives you any real feel- 
good factor. Des and Motty are on 
the mic, and you get seemingly 
infinite options and stats, but most 
crucially, the gameplay's also more 
intelligent than its predecessors. 
Great controls and camera angles 
mean immediate satisfaction, but 
with questionable longevity. 

Or try: Three Lions 

■ Sports ■ 1-2 players 

■ Take 2 Interactive ■ Much 
hyped, sadly flawed. *** 


■ Puzzler ■ 1-4 players 

■ Ocean ■ Platinum Sadistic 
invertebrates strap on 
weapons and cause death 

Tries too hard to be cute and 
different, and subsequently has a 
very gimmicky feel. The shareware 
origins are ail-too easy to discern, 
and the Al will make you spit 
blood, so Worms is best played 
with a friend. On the plus side, you 
can customise the game to your 
heart's content. *** 

WWF Warzone 

Wrestling ■ 1-4 players 

■ Acclaim Entertainment 
Lardy leotard lovelies fight 

it out With moves and characters 
that make play interesting, and a 
great create-a-player section that 
enables you to custom-build your 
own fighter. Unfortunately, it's a bit 
slow and sluggish, and there's little 

variety from fight to fight, but the 
range of modes, from Trainer to 
All-Out War, should help to keep 
you vaguely interested. **** 
Or try: WCW Nitro 

■ Fighting ■ 1-2 players ■ THQ 

■ Crazy men in swimming 
costumes. ** 


Shooter ■ 1-2 players 

■ Grolier Interactive 
Mission-based space 
shooter Strategy and tactics in 
this shooter turn out to have little 
bearing on the actual game you 
end up playing, and the mission 
briefings lead you to expect more 
than there is. There's plenty of 
shooting, but it's dull stuff, with 
dismal graphics, difficult controls 
and weapons that are genetic 
clones of one another. ** 

X-Men Vs Street 

Fighter ■ 1-2 players 

■ Virgin Interactive 

Entertainment Fight! Merges 
the X-Men into the Street Fighter 
universe, and maintains the control 
system and sprite-based characters 
that you've come to expect from 
the series, while adding fighters of 
a size to rival the Empire State 
Building. A bit repetitive, jerky and 
shallow to please true fighting 
fans. *** 

Zero Divide 2 

Fighter ■ 1- 2 players ■ SCEE 
Mad robot-beating game 

There's hardly any moves. There's 
no feeling of contact. There aren't 
enough flashing lights or big 
bangs. There's no sensation of 
adrenaline coursing at speed 
through your throbbing veins. And 
it looks terrible. Best leave it on 
the shelf, then. * 

Actua Ice Hockey 

■ Sports ■ 1-3 players 

■ Gremlin Interactive 
Freezing fast-paced action 

Likely to be overshadowed by NHL 
'99, but still the beauty of the ice 
hockey world, despite some glitchy 
graphics, especially since you get 
to play as any one of the world's 
top teams. The controls are tricky, 
but it ail takes place at a decent 
pace, and the very harsh computer 
opponent and tactics will satisfy 
true bloodsport... er, sorry, ice 
hockey fans. * * * 

Actua Soccer 2 

■ Sports ■ 1-4 players 

■ Gremlin Interactive 
Actually football Convincing 
graphics and a shedload of camera 
angles, but the latter seem kind of 
pointless when you will almost 
certainly be sticking with one. The 
play is frustrating, there's a very 
limited number of options and, 
quite shockingly, it's worse than its 
PlayStation incarnation. ••* 

Or try: Jack Charlton's 
Soccer Nation 

■ Sports management ■ 1 player 

■ Attica ■ The worst football 
game ever. * 

Actua Tennis 

■ Sports ■ 1-4 players 

■ Gremlin Interactive 
Strawbs and cream sim 

Packed with stats and gorgeous 
motion capture, but introducing a 
power bar sacrifices the directional 
control that you really need in a 
tennis game. The fallibility of the 
computer opponents can make for 
annoying matches, too. And why 
on Earth is Barry Davies doing the 
commentary? *** 

Armour Command 

■ Strategy ■ 1 player 

■ Take 2 Interactive Tanks 'n' 
strategy Pastel-coloured sci-fi 
strategy fest; stylish, but ultimately 


January | 1999 1 Arcade 1 167 


uninspired. Any complicated tactics 
tend to leave the screen a mess of 
tiny menus, waypoint markers and 
patrol paths. *•* 

Bass Masters Classic 
Tournament Edition 

■ Fishing sim ■ 1 player 

■ THQ ■ Budget Go fishing, 
but on your PC No, really - it's 
fishing on your PC, which isn't 
quite as bizarre or boring as it 
might sound. ** 


■ Strategy/adventure 

■ 1 player ■ Take 2 
Interactive Survive alone in 
a dome Stay alive by keeping 
your gigantic biodome ticking over. 
BioSys chucks a load of puzzles 
and resource management at you, 
but doesn't become frustrating. 
The plot will suck you in, but you 
might find it a bit slow. *** 


■ Driving ■ 1-2 players 

■ Gremlin Interactive 
Radio-controlled racing 
lunacy The 16 teeny-weeny cars 
are heaven to handle, bouncing 
and skidding all over the shop, and 
have enough differences to make 
them lasting fun. But the tracks - 
indoors and out - while lovely to 
look at, are a bit confusing, and 
there's not the fun or hidden 
depth of Mario and friends. **• 

Bust-A-Move 2 

■ Puzzler ■ 1-2 players 

■ Acclaim Entertainment 
Match bubbles, go mad One 

of the most addictive puzzlers 
since Terns, bringing its bubble- 
colliding strategies to your screen 


in an explosion of rainbow-hued 
visuals. It's a simple idea, and 
provides much more of a challenge 
than you'd initially think, with the 
particularly addictive two-player 
mode highlighting the brilliance of 
the concept ***** 

Caesar III 

Strategy ■ 1 player ■ Sierra 
Roman-based strategy 

antics There's two ways of 
playing this - either as a straight 
Sim City rip-off, or as a mission- 
based Roman Emperor-'em-up. It's 
incredibly complicated, and the 
amount of stuff to do may bring 
on a "Caesar", but stick at it and 
you'll find it involving and addictive. 

Castrol Honda 
Superbikes World 

■ Racing ■ 1 player 

■ Interactive Entertainment 
Motorbikes A playable game, 
but the over-sensitive controls 
make it far too hard. ** 

Manager 2 

■ Sports management 

■ 1-8 piayers ■ EIDOS 
Interactive Be Kev Keegan 

With CM3 imminent, this prequel 
has appeared at a bargain price. 
Looking a little out-of-date now, 
and still far, far too easy, it's 
nevertheless engrossing and 
packed with neat details. **** 

Final Fantasy VII 

Pointless leviathan or RPG heaven? 

■ Do you remember 
when Final Fantasy VII 
came out on PlayStation? 
Of course you do - 95%+ 
scores from every mag, 
with otherwise normal 
people suddenly turning 
their hands to the beardy 
pursuit of role-playing. 
But the time has come for 
a horrifying question: is it 
still as good? 

Returning to FFVII is 
partly disappointing - 
spending hours battling 
through the game isn't 
something you want to 
repeat. Guiding Cloud and 
friends through the same 
places, conversations and 
fights will just leave you 
feeling empty inside. 

But then, FFVII isn't 
designed to reward just 

dipping in and out. The 
Chocobo races and the 
bonus arcade games are 
still there to tempt you 
back for an hour or two's 
play, but the main game's 
done, dusted, and closed 
to all but a complete re- 
try from the start. FFVII is 
a story designed to grab 
you and not let go; a 
linear tale that reveals its 
many twists and turns 
over hours of play. 

The graphics, battles, 
spells and the story may 
not be as involving the 
second time, but they 
serve as a reminder of 
FFVII 's true strength - as 
a fantastic tale that had 
the world sitting up all 
night just to see what 
happened next. 

Creatures 2 

■ Breed-'em-up ■ 1 player 

■ Mindscape Raise another 
family of cuddly creatures 

Less a game, more an exercise in 
parenthood, the main idea behind 
Creatures 2 is to breed your race of 
furry critters and then use them 
to search for biotechnical bits and 
bobs. This new release has more 
options, more enemies and more 
places to explore. *** 

Conflict: Freespace 
The Great War 

■ Space combat 

■ Multi-player ■ Interplay 
Sprawling, intricate, space 
shooter Escort this, protect that, 
shoot the other - Conflict might at 
first seem like a direct X-wing vs 
TE-Fighter rip-off, but it's more the 
game X-wing should have been. 
Watch for the superb explosions, 
cleverly designed missions and 
plenty of replayability. ***** 
Or try: X-Wing vs TIE Fighter 

■ Multi-player ■ Virgin Interactive 
Entertainment ■ Impressive Star 
Wars-based shooter. * * * * 

Curse of 
Monkey Island 

■ Adventure ■ 1 player 

■ LucasArts Fantastic point- 
and-dick adventure Genuinely 
amusing, and with clever puzzles, 
Monkey Island scores well for its 
controls, which make exploring 
and examining as easy as possible. 
Great to look at and to listen to, if 
a tad frustrating and illogical, but 
mostly top notch. ***** 


Racing ■ 1-8 players ■ 
Inf ogrames More space-age 
racing A futuristic racer akin to 
WipEout and the like. The four 
worlds and 12 circuits are brilliantly 
designed in a rollercoaster vein, 
and there's tons of weaponry to 
get your sweaty mitts on. But the 
continual skidding off the road and 
steep learning curve will put you 
off eventually. * * * 

Descent to 

■ RPG ■ 1 player ■ Interplay 
RPG in the mould of the 
original Doom beater Taking 
the engine of the seminal Descent 
and then using it to run an RPG 
was a good idea - but three years 
ago. Dated, flawed and, ultimately, 
hugely tedious. * 

Destruction Derby 2 

■ Racing ■ 1-10 players 
(turn-taking) ■ Psygnosis 
Hit-and-run rivalry Fine as a 
normal racing game, but better as 
an all-out smash-'em-up that gives 
edge-of-your-seat thrills, coupled 
with gorgeous visuals and images 
of your car as it disintegrates. 
Great tracks, a genuine impression 
of speed and smart computer cars, 
too. Yay! ***** 


■ Strategy/RPG 

■ 1-4 players ■ Blizzard 
Hack 'n' slash adventure 

A real-time strategy RPG that's 
incredibly intuitive, with hidden 
depths and complexity to be 
found if you delve deeper into its 
dark and sticky innards. A whole 
load of monster-killing and spell- 
casting to keep beardy types 
happy, absolutely massive and it 
looks like a dream too. **** 

Die By The Sword 

■ Adventure ■ 1 player 

■ Interplay Flawed combat 

masterpiece Combat/adventure 
in a medieval/fantasy world with 
a third person/ sweeping camera 
viewpoint The engine, which 
calculates animation by looking at 
both bone joints and gravity, does 
the biz, but being able to win 
every battle in one move defeats 
the purpose somewhat. ** 
Or try: Tomb Raider 2 

■ 1 player ■ EIDOS Interactive 

■ A second outing for the lovely 
Lara. ***** 

Dune 2000 

Strategy ■ 1 player 

■ Electronic Arts 
The grand-daddy of 
strategy re-invigorated The 

original Dune invented the real- 
time strategy game. This new 
version houses 27 levels and three 
"tribes" to choose from, but it 
doesn't offer any further obvious 
improvements aside from the new 
visuals. It's too simplistic to be 
great, and faces potentially better 
up-and-coming rivals. *** 

Dungeon Keeper 

Strategy ■ 1 player 

■ EA Classics Classic 
dungeon management Run 

your own murky torture chamber 
in this strategy-laden epic. Difficult 
at first, especially with the mixture 
of game modes and cameras, but 
the sense of humour and finely- 
tuned gameplay will eventually 
hook you. ***** 

Fighters for Life 

Strategy ■ 1 player ■ ASCII 
The world's first 999-'em-up 

A real-time strategy game based 
on the work of the emergency 
services might sound terrible - and 
it is. It's set against the clock, and 
the disasters become increasingly 
catastrophic over time, but the 
graphics are too small, the controls 
too fiddly and the Al too terrible 
for you to have any fun. ** 

FA Premier League 
Football Manager '99 

Sports ■ 1 player 

■ Electronic Arts Be Glenn 
Hoddle, but better Including 
both Scottish and English divisions, 
and giving you plenty of coaching 
and business matters to deal with, 
this is the most realistic football 
management title out there - your 
decisions really affect the turnout 
of games. The icing on the cake 
are the commentary by John 
Motson and the lovely-looking 3D 
kickabouts. •*** 


■ RPG ■ 1 player 

■ Interplay Puzzle-solving 
post-Armageddon An RPG set 

in a post-nuclear world, with a 
whole load of quests to take part 
in and a good choice of characters. 
It's old-school in its use of points 
building and heavy emphasis on 
talking to characters, and it starts 
off slowly, but the action and 
interaction soon blend together 

F1 Racing Simulation 

■ Driver ■ 1-8 players 

■ Ubisoft Driving for 
would-be Damons All the 

stats and tracks are here, and the 
handling and controls are perfect. 
There's a slight lack of realism and 
customisation options, but it's very 
fast and offers a real challenge. 
Don't expect to be able to smash 
into verges without paying the 
ultimate price - your death. 
• *** 

Or try: Alain Prost Grand 
Prix ■ 1 player ■ Ocean ■ 
Similar but less realistic. ** 


■ Flight sim ■ 1 player 

■ Electronic Arts Absurdly 
accurate F-15 sim Stunning 3D 
graphics (if your PC can cope), but 
oh so much more of a strict 

simulation than a game. Great for 
would-be pilots •** 

The Fifth Element 

Puzzle ■ 1 player ■ Ubisoft 
Obscure futuristic movie 
tie-in Twenty three levels of 
Tomb Raider-sty\e shenanigans, 
made to the usual recipe: an equal 
measure of running and jumping, 
and a big "knob" of shooting. The 
difficult controls and camera 
difficulties hamper the gameplay, 
though, and it bears less relevance 
to the film than you'd think. ** 

Fighter Pilot 

Flight sim ■ 1-2 player ■ 
Electronic Arts Sky-based 
shooting for avid pilots 

A flight sim stripped of all the 
complicated stuff, leaving a shoot- 
'em-up-based flyabout. There's 
plenty of weapons, and a 3D card 
will bring the most from the 
detailed graphics, but continuous 
shooting at ground installations 
and other planes will soon have 
your eyelids drooping. •*• 

Final Fantasy VII 

■ RPG ■ 1 player ■ EIDOS 
Interactive Why shouldn't 
the PC have the best RPG 
ever as well? It'll keep you up 
all night, it'll make you cry, it'll 
make your nose bleed, but only 
if someone hits you in the face 
with a copy of it Which they 
ought to, if you don't buy it. A 
great story, lavish graphics and 
brilliant selection of spells. It's a 
little confusing, rarely allowing you 
to see your opponents before you 
get into a fight, but put this down 
to Japanese quirkiness and you'll 
be on to a winner. ***** 

Flight Simulator 98 

■ Three guesses ■ 1 player 

■ Microsoft Ultra-realistic 
aeroplane antics This isn't for 
the casual gamer, including, as it 
does, a load of knobs to get the 
hang of. In that it's supposed to be 
like a true flying experience, the 
controls are difficult, but some of 
the graphics are less realistic than 
you might like. There's also a quite 
nightmarishty difficult-to-contro! 
helicopter included as a "bit of a 
laugh", too. **** 

Or try: Pro Pilot ■ 1 player 

■ Sierra ■ Take to the clouds. 


■ First-person shooter 

■ 1-16 players ■ Acclaim 
Entertainment Almost 
Quake - almost certainly 

better One of the most intense 
3D experiences you'll have on your 
PC, Forsaken wastes no time at 
all dumping you in a room full of 
droids, missiles, gun emplacements, 
robots and whizz-bang special 
effects, and it also features the 
best combat action and 16-player 
deathmatch since time began. Play 
Quake II, and then play this, and 
you'll be hard pushed to shape a 
preference. But you might, just 
might, chose Forsaken. ***** 
Or try: G-Police 

■ 1 player ■ Psygnosis 

■ Compulsive, hard-to-control 
shooter. ***** 

Game, Net and 

■ Sports ■ 1-2 players 

■ Blue Byte Frill-free, 
networked tennis Tennis game 
which plays surprisingly well, but 
with some disappointingly sloppy 
visuals. **• 

Gex 3D: Enter 
the Gecko 

■ Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ Ubisoft A 3D gecko in 
sunglasses. Obviously 

Originally debuted on Panasonic's 
flash-in-the-pan 3D0, the elements 
are all in place for a good romp: 
simple controls, variety of levels 
and sub-quests a-go-go. The bad 
points are a toss up between the 
unwieldy camera angles, and Leslie 
"Carry On" Philip's voice-over - it's 
a close call. *** 

The Golf Pro 

■ Sports ■ 1 player 

■ Empire Interactive Novel 

golf sim Uses a novel swing 
system rather than the usual 
power-bar, which makes play much 
more difficult initially, though it 
does simplify with practice. The 
scenery in both courses, although 
a pre-rendered cop-out, will make 
you want to bring a picnic to the 
game, and the ball physics are 
superb. **** 
Or try: Actua Golf 2 

■ 1-4 players ■ Gremlin 
Interactive ■ Realistic and fun golf 
simulation. **** 

Grand Theft Auto 

■ Crim-'em-up ■ 1 player 

■ Take 2 Interactive Drugs, 
death and driving Notorious 
for its lack of scruples, encouraging 
killing bystanders and trafficking of 
drugs, GTA gives you a sense of 
freedom as you drive around 
massive cities. The graphics are 
disappointing, but the missions 
are enjoyable, even if repetitive. 
However, games where failure 
results in you being plonked back 
at the start of a level are asking for 
trouble. **** 


■ Strategy ■ 1 player 

■ Gremlin Interactive 
Exciting mix of trading and 
combat A step in the right 
direction - this unofficially updates 
the great 8-bit game Elite for the 
Labour-driven, Spice Girl-warbiing, 
Sunset Beac/i-goggling late '90s. 
The environment is enormous, but 
the gameplay is hampered by too 
much waiting around and not 
enough doing. **** 

Or try: Privateer 2: The 
Darkening ■ 1 player ■ 
Electronic Arts ■ Dark and 
spooky. *•** 


Shooter ■ 1 player ■ Hasbro 
Comedy head-swapping 
shoot-'em-up Strap heads on 
to your alien torso, adopt their 
attributes and weapons, and 
proceed to wander about killing 
other aliens. Adding to your 
collection of heads is great, but 
chasing aliens for keys to open 
every successive door soon gets 
tiring and dull. ** 

Heart of Darkness 

■ Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ Ocean Visually stunning 
runabout it was five years in 
the making and, oh so very nearly 
worth the wait. Stretches the 2D 
platformer out as far as it will 

go without it snapping straight 
back and hurting your fingers. The 
backdrops are beautiful, and there 
are puzzles a-plenty. * * * * 

The House of 
the Dead 

■ First-person shooter 

■ 1 player ■ Sega 3D into- 
the-screen fire-button 
finger-bleeder The setting? A 


168 | Arcade | January | 1999 




VilH 1 - 









Simply use scissors to cut out this bit of paper, fill it in (with a pen) and then give 
it to your local newsagent. Newsagents can be found in streets. 




Dear Newsagent: Total Film is available from your local wholesaler 

spooky old mansion. The baddies? 
Zombies. Any good? Well, sadly, 
not really. * * 

IF/A-18E: Carrier 
Strike Fighter 

■ Flight sim ■ 1 player 

■ Interactive Magic Fly 
planes about Simulating a craft 
that won't be flying for five years 
(but based on enough test data to 
ensure authenticity), Strike Fighter, 
for the most part, looks absolutely 
gorgeous. The missions are varied 
and convincing, and your success 
alters what you're offered to do in 
future levels. Unfortunately, you'll 
need at least a Pll before you can 
run it properly, though. **** 

Interstate 76 

■ Racing ■ 1-8 players 

■ Activision '70s retro 
challenge Taking its cue from 
the Twisted Metal games, this 
racer-come-shooter suffers from 
jerky and simplistic graphics and 
repetitive gameplay, although 
you're sure to find plenty of fun in 
just driving about, and shooting up 
scenery and other vehicles. The 
ongoing plot and huge candyfloss 
afros will satisfy all but the most 
obsessive 70s-phile. **• 

Incoming: Lux et 

■ First-person shooter 


■ 1 player ■ Rage Software 
Fancy, multi-vehicle blaster 

A real triumph of conventionality 
over originality, Incoming features 
every shoot-'em-up cliche known, 
but the gorgeous visuals, wide 
variety of vehicles and frenetic 
finger action prove there's plenty 
of life in the genre yet. * * * * 

Jetf ighter: Fullburn 

■ Flight sim ■ 1 player 

■ Take 2 Interactive Flying, 
with a plot Exhilarating flight 
sim, where the missions are glued 
together with video sequences. 
Tiring at times, but with a very 
nice feeling of not being too 
overwhelmingly techie. *** 
Or try: F22: ADF 

■ 1 player ■ DiD ■ Top-gun fun. 

Jimmy White's 2: 

■ Sports ■ 2 players 

■ Virgin Interactive 
Entertainment Snooker 
loopy nuts are we Superb 
snooker and pool sim, with a 
highly playable game engine and 
wacky darts, draughts and fruit 
machine sub-games. * * * * 
Or try: Virtua Pool 2 

■ Multi-player ■ Interplay ■ Pool 
without the celebrity. **** 

Klingon Honor Guard 

Shooter ■ 1-16 players 

■ MkroProse Pasty-headed 
Doom-style exploits This is 
based on the excellent Unreal 
engine, which automatically makes 
it beautiful and speedy. A full 
complement of niggling factors, 
such as suddenly completing levels 
without even realising you were 
anywhere near the end of a 
mission, are negated by the sheer 
intensity of the big-weapon 
shooting action. Those crazy 
Klingon boys, eh? * * * * 

Last Bronx 

■ Fighter ■ 1-2 players 

■ Sega Japanese fisticuffs 

It's fast-moving, with a number of 
weapons included to make life 
more interesting, but the meagre 
number of characters and moves 
bring it crashing down to Earth. 
The lack of support for 3D cards 
doesn't help its cause and, 
curiously for a fighting game, the 
multi-player just doesn't excite. 


■ Adventure ■ 1 player 

■ Electronic Arts Odd- 
looking mystical adventure 

The same other-worldly visuals 
and characters seen in Little Big 
Adventure, shoved into a beautiful 
3D world. The control system is still 
almost unimaginably annoying, and 
the roving camera makes things 
difficult, but this is as involving as 
any good bedtime story should be. 

Links LS '99 

Sports ■ 1-4 players ■ EIDOS 
Interactive Golf for it! 

The visuals are lovely, as you'd 
expect, but it takes time to draw 
the scenery and - predictably - 
Links uses the same power-bar 
system as all other golf games. Still, 
with four courses, eight players at 
your disposal and 30 modes of 
play, who's complaining? 
Or try: Microsoft Golf 1998 

■ Sports ■ Multi-player 

■ Microsoft Motion captured 
players and dodgy controls. ** 

Magic & Mayhem 

Strategy ■ 1 player ■ Virgin 
Interactive Swords and 
sorcery in strategy shocker 

Featuring knights, wizards and all 
the usual stuff, this real-time 
strategy gives you a surprisingly 

Full of holes 

Aero Gauge, ASCII, April 1998 

■ If you learn only one 
thing from this copy of 
Arcade, make it this: Be 
wary of games named 
after chocolate bars. You 
might just get lucky; fine 
Doom clone Marathon Con 
the Apple Macintosh) is 
one example. But the risks 
associated with candy- 
named titles become all 
too apparent when you 
take a close look at what is 
probably the very worst 
game on the N64. Say hello 
to Aero Gauge. 

Developer ASCII seems 
to have one purpose for 
Aero Gauge in mind. "Go 

and be WipEout," ASCII 
told it, "and the cash from 
N64 owners desperate for 
a decent racer will come 
rolling in!" And several 
months later, still rubbing 
its hands and patting itself 
on the back, ASCII took 
one look at the finished 
product and realised it had 
forgotten to put a game in. 
Aero Gauge's WipEout 
pretensions are laughable. 
Where Psygnosis' view of 
the future consisted of 
technology-saturated cities 
rich in Designer's Republic 
neon splendour, ASCII's 
crystal ball reveals a world 

re-constructed in pastel- 
coloured Lego, and where 
a permanent fog prevents 
anyone from seeing more 
than ten metres ahead. 
This misting feature 
means the track's twists 
and turns are drawn on 
screen so slowly that 
you've almost gone past 
them before they appear 
and, after losing control 
and crashing your garish 
cardboard-box for the 15th 
time, the next thing that 
hits a wall will be the Aero 
Gauge cartridge itself. 
Meanwhile, the only place 
you'll catch sight of the 
CPU opposition is on the 
starting grid. 

There's a simple moral 
to this story. Don't buy 
Aero Gauge. If you want 
to experience futuristic 
racing, buy Nintendo's 
F-Zero X, which offers the 
intricate controls and first- 
place jostling so glaringly 
absent from this feeble 
excuse for a game. Oh, and 
should ASCII ever release 
Toblerone Challenge, don't 
you dare say we didn't 
warn you. • Mark Green 

uncommon spetl-casting, creature- 
creating environment. The main 
characters are well-designed, the 
story effortlessly sucks you in and 
the 30 maps are varied and 
realistic enough to make you feel 
like you're there. ***** 


■ Strategy ■ 1 player 

■ MicroProse Real time 
strategy, management and 
big robots Based on the 
Batt/eTech board game, but a 
strategical step away from the 
action of previous MechWarrior 
games, Commander boats clearly 
laid out logistics, intricate detail 
and superb level design. **** 
Or try: MechWarrior 2 

■ 1 player ■ Activision ■ Huge, 
hulking exoskeleton robots. *** 

MicroMachines V3 

■ Racing ■ 1-4 players 

■ Codemasters Top-down, 
miniature racing Embrace a 
world where you race round table- 
top tracks in a mini car, boat or ice 
cream van, preferably against as 
many other human players as 
possible. As good on the PC as on 
any of the consoles. * * * * * 

Monster Truck 
Madness 2 

■ Racing ■ 1 player 

■ Microsoft Big trucks, huge 
tyres Full of action and arcade- 
friendly, but the handling of the 
giant trucks is too light, instantly 
removing the feeling that you are 
racing around in a huge truck with 
the ability to crush anything on 
Earth. Big on wheels, but small on 
atmosphere. ** 

Madness 3D 

■ Racing ■ 1 player 

■ Microsoft Motorbikes and 
dirt tracks A huge array of 
racing modes and more tracks 
than you can shake a Kawasaki at. 
Madness offers enough of a racing 
thrill to deem motorbike racing 
games worthy of the PC No two- 
player mode, though. *** 

Or try: Moto Racer 

■ 1-2 players ■ Electronic Arts. 

■ More of the same. * * * 


■ Racing ■ Multi-player 

■ Gremlin Interactive 
Futuristic sports-car visual 
drooler Nine cars, slick track 
design, a myriad of tiny road-side 
animations (like monorails and 
space craft) and the right difficulty 
pitch: a cinch to drive, but hard to 
drive well. Fast, too. * * * * 

Or try: Screamer Rally 

■ 1 player ■ Virgin Interactive 
Entertainment. ■ Watch that 
scenery fly by. **** 

NBA Live 98 

■ Sports ■ 1-4 players 

■ Electronic Arts Ball in the 
basket fun Although it is slightly 
too easy, mainly because of the 
limited computer opposition, NBA 
Live 98 was never pretending to 
accurately represent basketball 
However, it controls well, looks 
fantastic and provides a wealth of 
options, enabling you to tailor the 
game as you wish. * * * * 


Racing ■ 1-8 players 

■ Psygnosis F1 drive-about 

Sixteen drivers, 11 full-3D tracks, 
the pits, smooth and fast racing, 
and everything else - so what's 
wrong? The sound is terrible, the 

crashes a non-event, the visuals 
have packed up and gone home, 
and the right-angled corners are 
someone's idea of a joke. * * * 


■ Adventure ■ 1 player 

■ Ocean Spooky graphic and 
FMV adventure A typical PC 
adventure game that could have 
stood out from the crowd but 
drops far too many baffling 
puzzles into the otherwise bumper 
crop of thought-out, absorbing 
head-scratchers. The characters 
also feel about as interactive as a 
travel agent trying to book you a 
holiday - not very at all. ** 

Oddworld: Abe's 

Platformer ■ 1 player ■ GT 
Interactive 2D platf orming 
with puzzling chucked in 

Budget release of a pointless 
conversion from the PlayStation, 
with dated gameplay that involves 
merely moving from one screen to 
the next. It's just console fodder, 
converted for the sake of it - the 
PC doesn't need this kind of thing. 

clumsy, blocky jerky visuals and 
stunted gameplay, PowerBoat 
Racing is not. * * 
Or try: Motor Head 

■ 1-2 player ■ Gremlin Interactive 

■ Futuristic, speedy, gorgeous. 


■ Adventure ■ 1 player 

■ Microsoft Starship 
Troopers: the (unofficial) 
game Drop down a lift shaft in an 
overrun research installation, then 
try to raise a cargo lift as big as a 
Quake level. Outwars innovates, 
and breathes fresh air into this 3D 
shoot-'em-up/arcade adventure 
Quake/Tomb Raider cross-over. 
The over-zealous sudden-death 
routines are irritating, though. 

Or try: Terra Nova 

■ 1-12 player ■ Virgin Interactive 
Entertainment ■ Got a spare 
brain? You'll need it. •** 

Pinball Soccer 

■ Pinball ■ 1 player 

■ Pin-Ball Games More 
themed pinball Pinball, where 
the table looks like a football pitch. 
Suffers from the same unfortunate 
steep perspective fate as Judge 
Dredd Pinball. ** 

Or try: Judge Dredd Pinball 

■ Pinball ■ 1-2 players ■ Pin-ball 

■ Three guesses... * * 

Police Quest SWAT 2 

■ Strategy ■ 1 player 

■ Sierra Control the thin 
blue line In the mould of the 
earlier Syndicate Wars, SWAT has 
you directing coppers to blow the 
crims away. It's ruined by its subject 
matter - you're forced to try dull 
old negotiation before gun-play - 
and impossibly small graphics, and 
the inexplicable jerkiness makes 
control difficult * 

Populous: The 

Strategy ■ 1 player 

■ Electronic Arts Try your 
hand at omnipotence You're 
God! Build huts, breed warriors and 
braves, get new spells to alter the 
land, fight and conquer enemies, 
and all that. Essentially the original 
game all over again, but it's a lot 
easier this time and, of course, it's 
all gone 3D. Feel the depth and 
the intelligent learning curve, and 
you'll be playing for hours. **** 

Powerboat Racing 

■ Racing ■ Multi-player 

■ Interplay Watersports 

Close inspection of Miami Vice 
and James Bond will tell you that 
speedboats are cool. Thanks to 

Premier Manager '98 

■ Sports manager ■ 1 player 

■ Gremlin Interactive 
Football managerial action 

All dressed up but nowhere to go 
- there's an accurate database 
update, but the imperfections that 
bugged P/Ws previous incarnation 
remain, and now stick out further 
than Jimmy Hill's chin. Still, it's only 
20 nicker. *** 

Pro Pinball: 

Pinball ■ 1 player ■ GT 
Interactive It's a pinball 
game Only one table? Once the 
shock of this has worn off, the 
perfect ball physics and over-the- 
top range of flashing lights, bells 
and whistles will keep silver-balled 
fans happy for months. * * * * 

Prost Grand Prix 

■ Racing ■ 1 player 

■ Infogrames Variable F1 sim 

An okay F1 sim, with a discrepancy 
in the difficulty levels that has you 
driving like a member of the 
McLaren team when you have 
the automatic gears and brakes 
turned on, and like that woman 
from Driving School when they're 
not. * * * 
Or try: Grand Prix 2 

■ 1 player ■ MicroProse ■ Geoff 
Crammond's absurdly accurate F1 
sim. *** 

Quake II 

■ First-person shooter 

■ 1-inf inite players 

■ Activision Seminal first- 
person baddie-beater 

Basically more of the same, but 
that's more of one of the finest 
games in the world. Quake II is 
undoubtedly best played over a 
network or on the Internet, and 
offers bigger, better {although not 
cleverer) monsters, massive guns, 
improved level designs and a fully 
customisable game engine. 
Or try: Rebel Moon Rising 

■ 1-4 players ■ GT Interactive 

■ Ugly and boring, unusual voice 
control option. * 

Rainbow Six 

Strategy ■ 1-16 players 

■ Red Storm Stealthy first- 
person hostage action 

Starring SAS-style combat heroes, 
this is a third-person shooter set 
in real-life terrorist situations. The 
healthy dose of realism works 
wonders, and the overwhelming 
amount of strategy makes it more 
cerebral than your usual shoot- 
'em-up. A shame, then, that your 
team-mates often act like idiots. 

Rediack: Revenge 
of the Brethren 

■ Adventure ■ 1 player 

■ THQ Derring-do on the 

oceans Point-and-click adventure, 
with great action sequences, but 
an unconvincing story line. ** 


Adventure ■ 1 player ■ Cryo 
Opera-based adventure, 
believe it or not With Wagner's 
music playing constantly in the 
background, and the different 
worlds throwing up characters 
who are often wont to sing at you, 

170 | Arcade | January 1 1 999 



fi/ng is a little bit different It looks 
gorgeous, it's utterly mad, but at 
the end of the day it's the same 
set of adventure-style puzzles as 
every other similar title. *■** 


Strategy ■ 1 player ■ Cryo 
Time-warping real-time 

strategy A God sim that places a 
variety of time zones into the mix, 
and sets the whole shebang in 
Victorian times. Similar to Populous 
in places (enlist the help of random 
persons, get them to build houses 
and then take over those of their 
neighbours), it's ultimately tedious, 
repetitive and unlikely to excite 
anyone. • * 

Roland Garros 1998: 
The French Open 

■ Sports ■ 1-4 players 

■ Grolier Interactive 

Accurate tennis sim Garros's 
great strength (making sure you 
have complete control over where 
the ball will land as you hit it) is 
also its weakness (making it far 
too easy to beat the computer 
opponents). There are 50 players, 
each of the four courts look lovely 
and, despite the limited options 
and near-invisible ball, you'll be 
"love-ing" this one. *** 

Sentinel Returns 

■ Puzzler ■ 1 player 

■ Psygnosis One of the 
most original puzzle games 
ever An 8-bit classic, Sentinel 
was the most bizarre concept for 
a game: absorbing trees around a 
3D landscape, while avoiding the 
gaze of the Sentinel at the top. 
Just don't expect to be quite so 
amazed second time around. 

Sid Meier's 

■ Strategy ■ 1-8 players 

■ Electronic Arts ■ Classics 
Re-live obscure American 
battles Sid Meier turns out 
another historically accurate, yet 
genuinely fun, real-time strategy 
game. Take control of either side 
in the American Civil War and you 
get equal measures of both good, 
head-hurting strategy and all-out 
shooting action. • *** 

Or try: Project Airos 

■ 1-2 players ■ Infogrames 

■ Fun for a while, but it's only a 
short while. ** 

Spec Ops: Rangers 
Lead the Way 

■ Strategy ■ 1 player 

■ Gametek First-person 

war sim Complete five separate 
missions where stealth and the 
need to learn tactics are vital. The 
graphics and Ai are top-notch, and 
the ability to control two men via 
one set of controls is innovative, 
though it doesn't always work. 
You will need a high-spec PC and 
graphics acceleration. *** 


■ Strategy ■ Multi-player 

■ Blizzard Entertainment 
Real-time strategy The same 
mix of building, research, resource 
management and combat as its 
prequel, but with enough intricacy 
and sidesteps to inject life into the 
genre. ***** 

Starship Titanic 

■ Adventure ■ 1 player 

■ Zablac Entertainment 
Douglas Adams' foray into 
adventure gaming Co-written 
by Mr Hitchhiker himself, Titanic 

is a text-driven adventure that 
actually works. It's witty, logical 
and engaging, if just a tiny bit 
f rustratingly at times. And it's 
got Terry Jones. *** 

Star Wars: 

■ Strategy ■ 1 player 
Write your own plot Set 

in a time after the destruction of 

the original Death Star, Supremacy 
gives you the chance to command 
the entire Rebel Alliance or Empire 
and re-write Star Wars history. An 
sized bin full of strategies gets the 
thumbs up, but the over-complex 
gamepiay may deter. **• 

Street Fighter Alpha: 
Warrior's Dream 

■ Beat-'em-up ■ 1-2 players 

■ Virgin Interactive 
Entertainment The nth 
version of the world's most 
famous fighting game More 
coin-op-to-PC shenanigans, with 
manga-style graphics, lots of new 
characters and Super Combos. 
Ken's hair seems to have grown a 
bit, too. Or maybe he's just had it 

Sub Culture 

Shooter ■ 1-4 players 

■ Ubisoft Deep-sea space- 
style epic Tries to be a futuristic, 
underwater trading/shooting 
game, but hasn't got the depth 
(ho, ho) or immediacy to pull it off. 
It looks lovely, and there's a worthy 
amount of buying/selling action, 
but there isn't enough to do, and 
ultimately you just won't care. 

Team Apache 

■ Flight sim ■ 1 player 

■ Mindscape Convincing 
chopper sim Few other flight 
sims introduce the novice in such 
a friendly way, before proceeding 
to let all hell break loose around 
them in such terrif yingly convincing 
fashion. Recommended. ***• 
Or try: Total Air War 

■ Flight sim ■ Multi-player ■ 
DiD/Ocean ■ Hey you, up in the 

Theme Hospital 

Strategy ■ 1 player ■ EA 
Classics Ailment-based real- 
time strategy Assume the role 
of hospital manager, in a quest to 
build the perfect emergency ward 
and cure your patients of their 
comedy illnesses. Interesting at 
first, but gradually becomes more 
and more repetitive until you'll 
have had enough. Also - it isn't 
funny * * * * 

Titanic: Adventure 
Out of Time 

■ Adventure ■ 1 player 

■ Europress Cheap and 
nasty sunk-ship-based 
nonsense Nothing at all to do 
with the film, and so bad you'll be 
praying for the bloody thing to hit 
an iceberg just to rouse you from 
your boredom. * 

TOCA Touring Car 

■ Driver ■ 1-8 players 

■ Codemasters Realistic car 
handling With a series of cars 
that handle, look and even sound 
different, and a level of accuracy in 
the tracks and stats maintained to 
the finest degree, TOCA Touring 
Car would be a truly essential 
purchase even without the realistic 
graphics. It's racing at its finest - 
why don't you own it? * * * * * 
Or try: Test Drive 4 ■ 1-4 
players ■ Electronic Arts ■ Fast 
but boring. ** 

Tomb Raider III 

Puzzle ■ 1 player ■ EIDOS 
Interactive The intelligent 
girl with the gun's back A 

tendency toward sudden death, 
coupled with the same inadequate 
controls and frustrating, difficult 
puzzles. But it's Tomb Raider*. 
Intelligent level design. Gob- 
smackingiy gorgeous graphics. 
And this time, there're pathways to 
choose from to help keep you up 
all night with Lara. ***** 

Total Annihilation 

Strategy ■ 1-8 player ■ GT 
Replay Futuristic strategy 

nonsense More intense than 
your Command & Conquers and 
the like, and as easy to use as an 
inflatable sheep. This manages to 
be easy for beginners and yet 
challenging for experts, the battles 
are great and there're plenty of 
patches and additions available 
on the Web, too. Buy this or feel 
stupid ***** 

Total Soccer 

■ Sports ■ 1-2 players ■ Live 
Media Three guesses- Top- 
down footy, circa 1990. ** 

Triple Play '99 

■ Sports ■ 1-4 players 

■ Electronic Arts Baseball 
for the fans Baseball isn't the 
most exciting sport in the known 
universe, so we commend TP '99 
for doing a fine job of translating it 
for the PSX. With the option of 
just a single game or a complete 
170-game tournament, Internet 
games and absolutely loads of 
players and stadiums to choose 
from, this is the simulation of 
choice for batfans. **•• 

The X-Files 

■ Adventure ■ 1 player 

■ Fox Interactive Spooky 
cash-in tie-in? Sounds like a 
case for Mulder and Scully 

It may just be a pile of video clips 
stuck together with VirtualCinema 
glue, but the seven weeks of 
exclusive filming, FBI notebook- 
fuli of trainspotter references and 
relative freedom of movement 
elevate it above the standard of 
most point-and-dick adventures. 
Or try: Blade Runner 

■ 1 player ■ Virgin Interactive 
Entertainment ■ More film tie-in 
shenanigans. **** 

Ultima Collection 

■ RPG compilation 

■ Number of players varies 

■ Electronic Arts Seminal 
titles collected Bringing 
together Ultima games from the 
last 20-or-so years, and presenting 
ten games from the series in the 
process, this collection suffers the 
same fate as most retro groupings; 
yesterday's faves are, in reality, 
quite dull compared to today's 
delights. Criminally omits a couple 
of games (like Ultima Underworld). 
The shame! *** 


■ First-person shooter 

■ Multi-player ■ GT 
Interactive Doom ctonetas I 

This has to be the fastest, most 
enjoyable Doom clone available 
for the PC to date. It's completely 
packed with luscious scripted 
moments, a fully pumped-up 
atmosphere, strictly intelligent 
denizens and enough eye candy to 
rot your lashes. The slightly poor 
weapons do sometimes give the 
feeling that you are defending 
your corner with nothing more 
dangerous than a pair of curling 
tongs, but with newities such as 
the simulated deathmatch for 
those who don't know a modem 
from a moped, Unreal deserves all 
the attention that you can possibly 
give it. * * * * * 

Urban Assault 

■ Strategy ■ 1 player 

■ Microsoft Post-nuclear 
skirmish Battle alien scum in an 
adventure marred ever-so slightly 
by blurred textures, thin walls and 
some sharply polygonal structures. 

Or try: BattleZone 

■ 1-2 players ■ Activision 

■ Boardgame-based strategy. 


■ Puzzler ■ 1 player ■ Ocean 
Tetris meets Populous You 

need to position the falling blocks 
on to a landscape to contain the 
water that rains down. Fun, but 
over-complicated. * * * * 
Or try: Super Puzzle Fighter 
2 Turbo ■ 1-2 player ■ Virgin 
Interactive Entertainment ■ Great 
title, great game. *** 

Wreckin' Crew 

■ Racing ■ 1-2 players 

■ Telestar Stock cars, big 
weapons and the open road 

A graph of Interest (on the y scale) 
versus Time Playing Wreckin' Crew 
(on the x scale) would start high as 
you fiddle with the weapons and 
try out all the cars, but plummet 
{with a gradient of -15) as the 
novelties wear off and the bland 
tracks kick in. * 

Wing Commander: 

■ Space epic ■ 1 player 

■ Electronic Arts Another 
intergalactic instalment 

Includes the usual appalling acting 
and over-emphasis on movie cut 
scenes that are now a staple of 
this space adventure series. The in- 
game graphics are good, although 
sometimes lapse, and while the 
combat is fun occasionally, it does 
get a tad repetitive. *** 

World Cup 98 

■ Sports ■ 1-20 player 

■ Electronic Arts Licensed 
kickabout Judged by graphics 
and licensing (as football games 
often are), this one wins hands 
down. But, while improving a little 
on Road to the World Cup, it also 
enables you to play smooth and 
exciting games {with or without 
the easy-to-pull-off fancy moves), 
and there is even a limited strategy 
element. Goal! ***** 

Or try: World League Soccer 
'98 ■ 1-4 players ■ EIDOS 
Interactive ■ Unremarkable soccer 
sim. *** 


■ Space strategy ■ 1 player 

■ MicroProse Latest in the 
long line The combination of 
real-time strategy and 3D action 
is perfected just as smoothly and 
effectively as the mix of strategy 
and tactical infantry combat in 
the other games. And the result? 
Another corker. **** 

Or try: X-COM: Apocalypse 

■ 1-2 player ■ MicroProse 

■ The prequel. **** 


1080° Snowboarding 

Racing ■ 1-4 players 
■ Nintendo It's a snow- 
boarding game The Wave Race 
team does it again, with a brilliant 
range of modes, plenty of tricks to 
pull off, loads of boards and loads 
of courses. As well as looking 
absolutely gorgeous, this snow- 

bound board sim offers beautiful 
controls and brilliant replays, and 
the stunts are suitably difficult to 
complete. ***** 

All Star Baseball 

■ Sports ■ 1-4 players 

■ Acclaim Entertainment 
Realistic bat-on-ball action 

Makes baseball seem beautiful, 
with smooth-looking players and 
gorgeous backgrounds. It's much 
more of a simulation than other 
titles, and so a lot more thoughtful 
and challenging as a result. This, 
coupled with the range of stats 
and options, means wide smiles all 
round for baseball fans. **** 


■ 3D platf ormer ■ 1 player 

■ Nintendo/Rare Bizarre 
bear-bird crossover With 
beautiful levels which beg you 
to explore them, and genuine 
challenge, and variety provided 
by the occasional transformation 
into other animals, this very nearly 
knocks cocky old Mario off his 
perch. And it's the first Rare game 
not to include an eye-wincing 
amount of cute. ***** 

Bio Freaks 

■ Fighting ■ 1-4 players 

■ GT Interactive/ Midway 
Arm-attachment beat-'em- 
up Watch out for massive missile 
attacks and arms flying off all 
over the place, but beware the 
gimmicky up-in-the-air jet-pac bit 
that detracts from the main game. 
There are plenty of characters 
and moves, it all looks lovely and 
there's loads of gore, but it just 
won't light your fire. *** 

Or try: Clayf ighter 63 V3 

■ 1-2 players ■ Interplay ■ 
Alleged comedy beat-'em-up. * 

Blast Corps 

■ Destruct-'em-up 

■ 1 player ■ Nintendo/Rare 
Senseless structure 
smashing A truly unique game 
(the closest comparison must be 
oldie Rampage). And indeed, 
knocking down buildings with a 
great range of vehicles is as much 
fun as it sounds. Initially the mass 
destruction is too easy, but the 
additional goals will soon have you 
tearing hair out from all over your 
body. Yes... even there. **** 

Body Harvest 

RPG/shooter ■ 1 player 
Gremlin Interactive Bug- 
blasting, B-movie invasion; 
lots of aliens Loads of weapons, 
100 vehicles to drive around in and 
five varied levels single out this 
interesting blaster. The graphics are 
ropey, and the character dialogue 
terrible, but the mix of RPG and 
intense, panicky alien shooting 
works a treat, and it's so big you'll 
get lost more often than you'd 
expect. **** 

Bomberman 64 

■ 3D platf ormer 

■ 1-4 players ■ Nintendo 
Infamous multi-playering 
antics Hudson finally loses its 
knack of pumping out great 
Bomberman games. The pure fun 
which made the multi-player game 
a classic is in tatters, and the one- 
player is like Mario 64 with all its 
good bits - like the controls and 
variety ~ thrown in the bin. Steer 
well clear. * * 

Buck Bumble 

■ Shooter ■ 1-2 players 

■ Ubisoft Honey-bee based 
shooting Mission-based shooter 
with puzzle elements. There's a 
varied bunch of enemies, but the 
levels themselves aren't involving, 
and the boring looks and copious 
fogging effects make you feel that 
a limited amount of thought has 
been put into this offering. *** 

Bust-A-Move 2 

■ Puzzler ■ 1-2 players 

■ Acclaim Entertainment 
Bubble-matching puzzler 

Hardly the best-looking game on 
the N64, but the sheer simplicity 
makes for a ridiculously addictive 
experience, especially against a 
friend. Arrange for someone to 
phone you at sporadic intervals 
to remind you to eat and sleep. 

Cruis'n World 

■ Racing ■ 1-4 players 

■ Nintendo Sequel to the 
worst driving game ever 

Despite the slating received by the 
original, nothing has been done to 
improve the game engine in this 
sequel. It's too easy, and there's 
just too little variation across the 15 
courses, all of which boast fuzzy 
graphics, difficult handling, boring 
multi-player options, simply 
appaling music and a total lack 
of speed. * 

Diddy Kong Racing 

■ Racing ■ 1-4 players 

■ Nintendo/Rare Comedy 
animal karting Very nearly laps 
Mario Kart, with its more complex 
and inventive one-player game, 
and superb graphics, but the multi- 
player option is duller than a dull 
thing on a very dull day. And those 
super-cute characters - ugh! Take 
them away. ***** 

Duke Nukem 64 

■ First-person shooter 

■ 1-4 players ■ GT 
Interactive More bad-taste 
violence The bare-breasted 
ladies haven't survived the process 
of conversion from the PC but 
you do get an inventive set of 
real-world-based levels, and plenty 
of monsters to blow apart. The 
four-player deathmatch is as fun 
as you'd expect shooting all your 
friends to be. **** 

Or try: Doom 64 

■ 1 player ■ GT Interactive ■ Big 
guns shoot nasties. *** 

F1 World Grand Prix 

Racing ■ 1-2 players ■ 
Nintendo Fancy yourself as 
Damon Hill? Looking as good 
as real-life, with all the real cars, 
drivers, stats and other nonsense. 
There're plenty of modes, too, 
whether your an arcade racer or 
true F1 fan, and the two-player 
mode rounds off the whole 
gorgeous package. "Let's see that 
again!" ***** 

Fighters Destiny 

■ Fighter ■ 1-2 players ■ 
Ocean Laydeez and-ah 
gentlemen, we present the 
world's best N64 fighter... 

Well-defined characters and plenty 
of moves make this, by default, the 
N64's Tekken: As with so many 
N64 games, it's too easy, but the 
excellent range of challenges 
ensures longevity. Brilliant speech, 
too. **** 

F-Zero X 

Racing ■ 1-4 players 

■ Nintendo Quick-as-you- 
like space-age racer The 

fastest, smoothest racer in the 
whole wide world, largely thanks 
to a loss of graphical detail. The 
controls are sublime, the handling 
fantastic and the tracks horrifically 
difficult. The over-steep learning 
curve and cheating computer 
opponents spoil it a bit. But don't 
worry too much about that. 
• •*• 
Or try: Extreme G 

■ Racer ■ 1-4 players ■ Acclaim 
Entertainment ■ Face-melting 
futuristic racer. **** 

January | 1999 | Arcade 1 171 




mi raH 

Hi MS 


GoldenEye 007 

■ First-person shooter ■ 1-4 
players ■ Nintendo/Rare 
The world's first spy sim The 

game that causes little green lights 
to appear in the eyes of PC and 
PlayStation owners. A believable 
and immersive 3D world, with 20 
challenging missions taking you 
from a snow-covered wasteland 
to the mens' toilets. Four difficulty 
levels from Agent to 007 and the 
best multi-player game money 
can buy if you ever get bored of 1- 
player. Plus it's got James Bond in 
it And Robbie Coltrane. And Sean 

Gex 64: 

Enter the Gecko 

Platformer ■ 1 player ■ GT 
Interactive Rubbish reptilian 
roam-about Astonishingly 
simplistic platformer that proves 
far too linear. The camera hasn't a 
clue what it should be centring on, 
the graphics are laughable and the 
animation and level design have 
been devised by monkeys. Worst 
of all, it tries to be funny. Sigh. * 

Iggy's Reckin' Balls 

■ Racing ■ 1-4 players 

■ Acclaim Entertainment 
Ugly spheres roll for their 
lives odd attempt at a new racer, 
where there's no need to do any 
manual turning. And - inevitably - 
it doesn't work. Monotonous 
tracks and the ugliest characters 
this side of Byker Grove. * 

ISS '98 

■ Sports ■ 1-4 players 

■ Konami Beautiful goal- 
mouth adventures Almost 
identical to the original ISS 64, and 
so you get the same silky controls 
and wealth of options, which mean 
beautifully smooth football. There 
are lots of subtle improvements - 
the referee is always on the pitch 
and it's this, coupled with new 
camera angles, new kicks and 
better crosses and headers, that 
make it an essential purchase. 
Again. **** 

Kobe Bryant in 
NBA Courtside 

■ Sports ■ 1-4 players 

■ Nintendo Great basketball 

It's the Madden of basketball 
games, and Courtside provides 
over 300 players and an intuitive 
control system, coupled with very 
smooth gameplay that behaves as 
you would expect real basketball 
to. Get in the hoop! **** 

Lylat Wars 

■ Shooter ■ 1-4 players 

■ Nintendo Animal Magic in 
space Loosely based on the 
SNES's Starwing, and intended to 
be a truly immersive movie-like 
experience, with cut-scenes that 
ape films like Independence Day. 
It's too easy, and it would have 
been nice to have a level select, 
but it's still addictive, well-crafted 
and frantic ***** 

Madden 64 

■ Sports ■ 1-4 players ■ EA 
Sports American football 
series update Looks a little 
sparse, especially without the 
official logos that Quarterback 
Club offers, but the controls and 
game mechanics are so intuitive 
that you'll feel like you actually 
understand what's going on. Hut! 
Hut! Hut! Or something. ***** 

Mario Kart 64 

■ Racer ■ 1-4 players 

■ Nintendo 01' Mario takes 
to the racetrack The original 
comedy racer returns. The one- 
player game is a lonely experience, 
especially with cheating computer 
karts, but the time-trial mode adds 
longevity, and the multi-player 
game is arguably the best on any 
platform. ***** 

Mission: Impossible 

■ Spy sim ■ 1 player 

■ Inf ogrames Tom Cruise in 
3D roam-about Not bad 

looking, with great ideas (such 
as disguising yourself as other 
characters in order to progress) 
that should've turned this 3D 
stealth-'em-up in to a potential 
Go/c/enFye-beater. Sadly, however, 
it's turned out a little bland. ** 

Mortal Kombat 4 

■ Fighting ■ 1-2 players 

■ GT Interactive Mad, bad 
blood-filled fist fight The 

Mortal Kombat series has become 
synonymous with fighting that's 
simplistic but faster than its rivals, 
and number four is no exception. 
It's a whole load of fun, and the 
3D looks good, while keeping up 
an amusingly frantic pace. It's a bit 
too easy to pull off complicated 
moves, and there's no innovation, 
but this is still a laugh-a-minute 
Or try: MK Mythologies 

■ 1 player ■ GT Interactive Beat- 
'em-up/RPG marriage. * 

j.O lOO 

Mystical Ninja 

■ RPG ■ 1 player ■ Konami 
Surreal adventure with a 
blue-haired maniac More of an 
RPG-platform game than anything, 
the fundamental unfolding of the 
story is coupled with Mario-style 
platforming tasks, and is ail the 
better for it It's mammoth, and the 
only downer being that once you 
have completed it, you're unlikely 
to return to it. * * * * 

Nagano Winter 

■ Sports ■ 1-4 players 

■ Konami Simulation of less 
popular summer games 
sibling Skating! Curling! Ski jump! 
Konami has taken these very dull 
events and fleshes them out by 
asking you to endlessly repeat 
sequences of key presses to force 
the grainy-looking characters to 
move. Very dull indeed. * 

Pilotwings 64 

■ Flight sim ■ 1 player 

■ Nintendo Task-based 
flying about Along with Mario 
64, the game that launched the 
N64. Beautiful, realistic scenery, 
coupled with some of the hardest 
tasks this side of Mensa, make for 
a truly unique experience. Where 
else would you get spring-boots to 
take you 100 feet up? * * * * * 

at any one time, the multi- 
playering that made the original 
such great fun is now taking a 
back seat to the monotonous one- 
player game. And 2D enemies? 
Please, put us out of our misery 
now. **** 

San Francisco Rush 

■ Racing ■ 1-2 players 

■ GT Interactive Big cars, 
mean streets The handling and 
controls aren't up to your average 
PlayStation racer, and there's also 
the Cellophane-over-the-screen 
blurry visuals we've come to 
expect from the N64. But it's fast, 
has excellent handling and a top 
two-player mode. *** 

Shadows of 
the Empire 

■ Shooter ■ 1 player 

■ Nintendo/Lucas Arts 
Star Wars- licensed revelry 

A curious mixture of all sorts of 
games, including Doom, space 
shoot-'em-ups and racers, that 
sadly doesn't really work. The 
good parts are too few, and the 
flaws so horrendous, that you're 
sure to be disappointed. One 
that's strictly for obsessive fans 
and crazed madmen. **• 

Snowboard Kids 

■ Racing ■ 1-4 players 

■ Nintendo Mario Kart for 
the snowboard generation 

This looks, sounds and plays very 
simplistically, but its packed full o' 
fun and liable to make you a load 
of new friends if you show them 
the multi-player game. The one- 
player game is challenging, if only 
for the computer boarders, who 
have some kind of 2007-style 
hatred of humans. *** 

Silicon Valley 

Puzzle ■ 1 player ■ Take 2 
Interactive Animal-control 
puzzler (with nasty side) Kill 
animals and take control of them 
to solve tricky puzzles. Graphics 
do their job well, the controls 
and puzzles are great, and the 
attention to detail is second to 
none. Inevitably, though, since it's a 
3D game, you should expect some 
trouble from the camera. **** 

Starshot: Space 
Circus Fever 

Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ Inf ogrames Weird French 
3D platformer As usual with 3D 
games, the unwieldy camera and 
over-fiddly controls are present 
and correct. Aside from that, the 
levels are large and the graphics 
almost too intricate, but there's 
too much wandering between 
one place and the next, and the 
necessary between-platform 
jumping isn't helped by those 
damn controls. *** 

Quake 64 

■ First-person shooter 

■ 1-2 players ■ GT 
Interactive PC owners have 
less to laugh about Nothing 
wrong with this, but with no more 
than two players able to take part 

Super Mario 64 

■ 3D platformer ■ 1 player 

■ Nintendo If you only buy 
one game this century... 

The gold standard by which ail 
videogames are judged. It was the 
first true 3D platformer for a brand 
new console, with the reputation 
of the world's number one game 
character at stake, and it's a total 
masterpiece. Huge levels, sublime 
controls and totally immersive 
gameplay. ***** 

Top Gear Rally 

■ Racing ■ 1-2 players 

■ Nintendo The best real-car 
racer on the N64 Not a rival for 
Gran Turismo and the like, but it's 

fast and handles well. As with all 
good racers, the time trial mode 
will keep you coming back time 
and again. No Jeremy Clarkson 
though. Which is probably a very 
good thing. **** 

Turok 2 

Shooter ■ 1-4 players 

■ Acclaim Entertainment 
Make dinosaurs extinct (just 
one more time) Even without 
the addition of the 4Mb RAM Pak. 
this looks stunning, and the game 
itself is helped by impossibly large 
guns and no more of the precision 
jumping nonsense that marred 

its prequel. The tasks will appear 
slightly familiar if you're already 
a fan of Doom, and the difficulty 
is sometimes off the scale, but 
otherwise this is fan-bloody-tastic. 

Or try: Turok: Dinosaur 

■ 1 player ■ Acclaim 
Entertainment ■ Make dinosaurs 
extinct once more. * * * * 

Wayne Gretsky 3D 
Hockey '98 

■ Sports ■ 1-4 players 

■ GT Interactive Updated 
version of original ice 
hockey sim Fast and smooth 
enough to make for an accurate 
interpretation of the too-quick- 
to-watch sport, but you need to 
persevere if you want to feel like 
you're actually taking control, and 
there's a distinct lack of challenge 
from the N64 opponents. * * * 


■ Puzzler ■ 1-2 players 

■ Ocean Build lakes and fry 
'em with fireballs Much more 
of a successor to Tetris than it is to 
Tetrisphere. Initially as difficult as 
hell, but stick with it and the clear 
- if rather limited - tactics become 
obvious. A Tef/vs-like addiction will 
then take control of your life, and 
make your pets leave home. 

• *** 

World Cup '98 

■ Sports ■ 1-4 players 

■ EA Sports A football game 
with a big cock on the box 

The FIFA license and dear old Des 
Lynam make this the public's 
choice, but the sluggish controls 
and disappointing visuals mean 
you'll be left with a sense of bitter 
disappointment - not unlike that 
experienced by avid England 
supporters after this year's World 
Cup. Or the one in 1990. *•• 

WWF Warzone 

■ Sports ■ 1-4 players 

■ Acclaim Entertainment 

Leotard-tastic Looks good, but 
boring in one-player - there are 
only so many times that kicking 
someone in the smalls is amusing 
(once). But get your wrestling- 
loving mates to join in (if you can 
find any), and you can enjoy four- 
men-on-the-f loor action. A novel 
create-a-player section rounds it 

Game Boy 

Cool Hand (Color) 

Card games ■ 1 player 
■ Take 2 Interactive It's a 
load of card games, innit? 

Blackjack, solitaire and cribbage in 
one package, and the option to 
play to any country's rules. The 
graphics are nice enough, and the 
games are extensive, but isn't a 
pack of cards far cheaper? *** 

Donkey Kong Land II: 
Diddy Kong's Quest 

■ Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ Nintendo Mini monkey 
stories Tries hard to squeeze the 
SNE5 version into the tiny grey 
handheld, and doesn't do too 
badly. The visuals are difficult to 
make out occasionally, thanks to 
their complexity, but the controls 
and wealth of secrets makes it a 
worthy Mario-style jump-about. 

Game & Watch 

■ Compilation ■ 1 player 

■ Nintendo Four titles in 

one Featuring Fire, Manhole, 
Octopus and OH Panic, these 
games offer simple fun, having 
been transcribed faithfully from 
the original handheld wonders. 
There's a museum section, too, 
but - let's be honest here - 
weren't Game & Watches always 
a bit rubbish? *** 

James Bond 007 

■ RPG ■ Nintendo ■ 1 player 
Shaken or stirred? Nothing 
remarkably innovative about this 
top-down Game Boy RPG, but it's 
nice to see one set in the modern 
world, even if it is a tad simple. The 
sparse mazes that form the levels 
are rather short and somewhat 
disappointing, but the tough end- 
of -level bosses and emphasis on 
sneaking about means this gets 
004 stars. **** 

Legend of Zelda IV: 
Link's Awakening 

■ RPG ■ Nintendo 

■ 1 player The endearing elf 

in B& W A truly involving plot, 
coupled with beautiful graphics 
(including plenty of cut-scenes) 
and a story where the emphasis 
is on engaging the player in the 
same way as FFVII. It's incredibly 
difficult, with a vast range of 
interesting challenges - can Zelda 
do no wrong? ***** 

Return (Color) 

Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ Take 2 Unknown quantity, 
Max, returns A little character 
jumping about, climbing ladders 
and collecting keys, just like the 
old days. The graphics are lovely, 
and it controls well enough over 
the numerous levels, but the '80s 
design and fall-too-far-and-die 
feature will have you chucking 
your Boy through a window. ** 

Power Quest (Color) 

Fighter ■ 1-2 players 

■ Sunsoft Odd RPG/f ight 
mixture Lots of talking and 
shops, just like in an RPG, but at 
heart it's a pure beat-'em-up. The 
ability to upgrade yer robot fighter 
is welcome, and the fighting has a 
bit more depth than usual Game 
Boy examples. It's different, but 
generally only okay. *** 

Reservoir Rat (Color) 

Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ Take 2 Traditional rat plat 

You can shoot and jump in this 
game, which, unfortunately, is the 
major selling point. A platformer 
where you need to kill everything 
and get each item before moving 
on is obviously looking to annoy, 
and the controls make the whole 
process irritatingly difficult. A 
dead-average platformer. ** 

Street Fighter II 

■ Fighter! Nintendo 

■ 1 player Classic small-scale 

beat-'em-up Although Nintendo 
has given this SNE5 conversion its 
best shot, it has only made the 
graphics good at the expense of 
speed, and the controls suffer for 
having only two buttons to play 
with. Even then, the computer 
fighters will be smacking you up 
with alarming regularity. *** 

Super Mario Land 

■ Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ Nintendo The pipe man 
cometh One of the Game Boy's 
original release games, and it still 
excels in most areas, despite its 
advanced nine years. The graphics 
are simple, but the subtlety of 
control and excellent level designs 
have been carried over to the bijou 
Nintendo with aplomb. ***** 
Or try: Super Mario Land II ■ 
1 player ■ Nintendo ■ More, but 
with little originality. *** 


Sports ■ 1-2 players 

■ Nintendo Racquet fun 

Despite its simplicity, 7enn/s is one 
of the most enjoyable such sims 
on any platform. With an addictive 
two-player option, a hard-to-beat 
computer player and some very 
intuitive controls, this is a great 
game if you want to avoid real-life 
John McEnroe-style ill-placed- 
abuse nonsense. ***** 


Puzzler ■ 1 player 

■ Nintendo It's a block thing 

You must know about this. Shift 
falling blocks to create complete 
lines, so that they disappear. So 
simple, but the inventor deserved 
to make millions, thanks to his 
creation possessing truly addictive 
properties beyond words. The 
only game where the phrase "You 
must own this" can be used with 
complete sincerity. ***** 
Or try: Tetris Attack 

■ 1 player ■ Nintendo ■ Reverse 
Tetris, fun for a while. * * * 


■ Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ Acclaim Entertainment 
Dinky dinosaur hunt 

Absolutely massive, and the high 
difficulty should prevent you from 
seeing the end sequence for quite 
a while, if ever. However, the quite 
shocking lack of game originality - 
nabbing bits from platformers left, 
right and centre, and dressing 
them up in fancy graphics - counts 
against it, as does its lack of fresh 
challenges per level. •*• 

Wario Land II 

■ Platformer ■ 1 player 

■ Nintendo Mario's arch- 
enemy returns Features a novel 
"can't die" aspect and insists on 
your collecting all of the coins from 
each level, creating fist-clenching 
difficulty in the process. It's top- 
quality - fiendishly challenging, 
and good enough to breath new 
life into the platforming genre 
once again. **** 

Wave Race 

■ Racing ■ 1-4 players 

■ Nintendo Original jet ski 

sim This doesn't quite reach the 
standards of the N64 version, with 
small, top-down 2D graphics. It's 
near-impossible to beat the CPU 
opponents, but the controls are 
as intuitive as the N64 incarnation, 
and there are plenty of tracks to 
race on. You can't argue with a 
four-player mode, either. *** 

WWF Warzone 

Sports ■ 1-player ■ Acclaim 
Entertainment Men in Pants 
action Although the graphics 
make this a bit of a looker, the 
animation is jerky and odd, and 
the game suffers from finger- 
snapping controls, which are too 
slow to be effective. Amuse 
yourself by considering the 
plight of all these poor 
greased men, though. ** i 



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Cool tilings were afoot eight years ago (and we're not taloig about VanOa Ice). 

Lemmings! You Ve 
just got to love tern 

et's go!" shouted the blue- 
coated, green-haired little 
midget, and videogames 
would never be the same 
again. Launched on the 
Amiga eight years ago 
this month, DMA Design's Lemmings was 
odd-looking, cute, sick, difficult and - 
the final nail in its coffin, or so you might 
have thought - one of those boring 
old puzzle games. Yet it was converted 
to over 20 machines, scored a wacking 
football manager-like score of 110% 
from France's generous Generation 
4 magazine, and scooped more 
"Best Game of the Year" awards 
than Spin the Bottle. 
/^~N Designed and programmed by 
j David Jones, who remains head of 
I Dundee's DMA Design, Lemmings 
J placed hundreds of titular gonk-alikes 
/in a series of fiendishly headache- 
/ generating puzzles. Building on the old 
leaps-into-the-sea notion, the little cherubs would 
pour forth from a trapdoor and, if left alone, stroll 

innocently to their demise, courtesy of various 
death-inducing traps spread across the level. To 
prevent this massacre, a simple mouse-click gave 
your selected lemming(s) a job to do (it might 
be digging, building bridges or even exploding), 
enabling you to guide the required percentage of 
blue guys away from danger and safely "home" 
to the level's end. 

The secret of Lemmings' success was, in part, 
its screwed-up mixture of cloying cuteness and 
horrific gore. "The original idea came from a one- 
screen animation that a programmer, Mike Daley, 
did on the Amiga in his lunch hour," explains David 
This animation showed a repeating cycle of 
lemmings being crushed, sliced, 
flamed and squashed. It was 
a striking visual that was 
carried across, essentially 
unchanged, to the final 
game. Soon, the sight of the 
tiny creatures wandering off 
a cliff, under a guillotine or 
into a roaring fire had players 
laughing their heads off. 

But its success wasn't 
built on black humour 

know it. For sheer addic- 
tiveness, Lemmings 
ranks as one of the best, 
and one of the most orig- 
inal games I've played on 
the Amiga for a very long 
time., _>- .., .. 

Critics loved Lemmings. Lots, 

alone, for Lemmings was also a fiendishly well- 
designed puzzle game. Even Omni, the now 
defunct American popular science magazine, 
gushingly referred to it as, "the most original 
entertainment concept of 1991." 

Among the unique aspects of Lemmings were 
the sound effects. The lemmings themselves could 
talk, screaming a very squeaky "Oh no!" prior to 
exploding, while voice samples were provided by 
sound artist Brian Johnston and his mum. The 
music, too, was part of the winning mix. But even 
this came about through a strange mixture of 
careful design, luck, and last-minute bodging, as 
composer Tim Wright explains. 

"The original music, written by Brian Johnston, 
was based on famous movie themes, but then I 
got a call two weeks from launch telling me to 
recompose it, because we were in the shit as far 
as copyright went. So I just did the first things that 
came into my head." The resulting selection, 
including such nursery classics as 'How Much Is 
That Doggy...' and 'Old MacDonald', lent a slightly 
demented vibe to the proceedings, but soon had 
everyone humming along. According to Tim, 
though, the lemmings still weren't quite out of 
the woods. "One of the tunes I composed was 
a version of '0' Little Town of Bethlehem', and 
three years later some guy rang up claiming the 
copyright for it. The rumours were that we ended 
up shelling out quite a bit because of that." 
After numerous sequels, 
revisions, Christmas add-ons and 
the inevitable 3D update ("That 
wasn't one of the best," admits 
David), DMA sold the Lemmings 
concept wholesale to Psygnosis. 
The Liverpool-based outfit 
recently released The Lemmings 
Collection - a near-perfect 
conversion of the very first 
Amiga games - on PlayStation, 
thus keeping this golden Jj^ 

oldie concept alive. 


Already bored with Zelda 64? Check out what everyone was playing eight years ago.. 


Publisher: Psygnosis 
System: Amiga 
■ Psygnosis was a company 
that prided itself on strong 
graphics, but was often 
criticised for neglecting 
gameplay. This vertically 
scrolling shoot-'em-up, 
however, delivered on all 
fronts. Unfortunately, it was 
bundled with a "free" T-shirt 
that added a fiver to the price. 

John Madden 
American Football 

Publisher: Electronic Arts 
System: Mega Drive 
■ Endorsed by the American 
equivalent of Jimmy Hill, John 
Madden Football was the first 
sign that Electronics Arts would 
be a major player in the sports 
genre, tt was also one of the 
first games Neil West ever 
reviewed. "I liked it so much, I 
moved to America," he says. 

Mickey Mouse in 
the Castle of 

Publisher: Sega 
System: Mega Drive/ 
Master System 

■ A Super Mario clone, but 
with animation considered 
state-of-the-art at the time. 
A huge variety of levels and 
puzzles - and a distinct lack of 
Donald Duck - helped this fly 
from the shelves. 

174 1 Arcade | Januaiy 1 1 999 

tation could hav 

The PlayStation is born 

ou might not know it, but 
1998's favourite console has 
roots that go right back to the 
start of the decade. The story, 
of course, began with Sony - now the big 
boy of home gaming, but then an outfit 
that had steered pretty much clear of 
computers and consoles since it got its 
fingers burned in 1985, when its version 
of the ill-fated MSX-standard computer 
went belly-up with the rest. Sony's first 
public steps back into the market took 
place in January 1991, with the near- 
irrelevant "My First Sony" range of kids 
computers in Japan. Behind the scenes, 
however, events were taking place which 
would gain momentum and eventually 
shape the way we all play games today. 
In the early '90s, as everyone got excited by 
the introduction of 650Mb CD-ROMs, dozens of 
companies embarked on their own "multimedia" 
CD-based hardware systems, in pursuit of the big 
bucks the eventual winner would earn. Sony was 
no exception, and after a brief liaison with Philips 
and its CDi, fell back on an older, potentially far 
more profitable partnership it had struck with 
Nintendo in 1988. This deal was for Sony to 
develop "The Play Station", a CD-ROM based 
system that would also play Nintendo carts. 

By 1991, though, trouble was brewing. Bosses 
at Nintendo had realised that Sony would earn 
most of the profits from Play Station, and reacted 

with legendary spite. They entered into a deal 
with Philips, Sony's arch-rival, which would allow 
the Dutch firm to make its CDi system Nintendo- 
compatible. It would also allow Philips to develop 
an official CD-ROM drive for Nintendo machines. 
Effectively, Sony's machine was rendered obsolete 
overnight - not that Sony knew. 

Indeed, it took a while for the company to 
wake up and smell the coffee. At 1991's June 
Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago, Sony 
showed off its Play Station, expecting its "buddies" 
at Nintendo to announce their new cartridge/CD- 
ROM system at a press conference the next day. 
Nintendo of America's President, Howard Lincoln, 
did just this - but instead of talking about Sony, 
talked about Philips. Sony was left shocked, 
publicly humiliated and seriously out of pocket. 

But it didn't end there. In 1992, Nintendo 
approached Sony again, this time offering 
permission to develop a revised 32-bit CD-ROM 
add-on for the then-current Super Nintendo 
(SNES) console. Despite Nintendo's clause that 
would prevent Sony making any profit on games 
for the machine, the company - now desperate to 
gain a foothold in the games industry - agreed, 
only to see Nintendo back out once more. 

Sony learned its lesson, and set about creating 
its own 32-bit CD-based console. This PlayStation 
(now written as one word, but retaining its capital 
S), sits on the shelves of your local Dixon's 
today, and sells four times as fast as the Jjk 

Nintendo 64. And that, as they say, is justice. *•* 

World News Headlines 

And if you bothered to unplug your C64... 

■ George Bush's arguments with Saddam 
Hussein over the Iraqi forces' presence in 
Kuwait escalated, until Uncle Sam decided 
to pummel Baghdad with planes, bombs 
and missiles - the Gulf War had begun. 
Iraq retaliated by smacking Israel and using 
captured Brits and Americans as a human 
shield. The war didn't end until Kuwait's 
liberation on February 27th. 

■ 6th January 1991: John Major, apparently 
Britain's Prime Minister at the time, insisted 
that, "the poll tax will not be abolished." 
Ho, ho, ho. 

■ Britain suffered at the hands of severe 
winds, which proceeded to rip the roofs 
off houses and throw trees into the air in a 
majestic manner. Weathermen across the 
country were left red faced for not having 
predicted the catastrophe, but were 
somewhat cheered up by being able to use 
words like "sweeping" and "lashing" a lot. 

■ Attempts by the Republic of Lithuania 
to break free from the USSR were swiftly 
crushed by Mikhail Gorbachev's tanks and 
soldiers, only for the rebellion to spread to 
rather more Republics, It culminated in huge 
protests outside the Kremlin, and the death 
of the Soviet Union by 1992. 

■ John "foot to the floor" Prescott, 
Labour's transport spokesman and 
now Minister For Transport in our fine New 
Labour government, was fined £200 and 
banned from driving for 21 days, for the 
crime of speeding on the Ml He then went 
on to plan a crippling road tax for all drivers. 
Out of spite. 

Music Charts 

8th January 1991 

1 (1) Bring Your Daughter to 

the Slaughter Iron Maiden 

2(4) Sadness Parti Enigma 

3 (5) The Grease Megamix 

John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John 

4 (11) Crazy Seal 
5(2) Ice Ice Baby Vanilla Ice 
■ Information from ON 

Film Charts 

11th January 1991 

1 (1) Arachnaphobia 

2 (2) Home Alone 
3(NE) Air America 
4(4) Ghost 

5 (NE) Child's Play 3 

■ Information from Screen 

■ Bullfrog announced 
its ambitious (and 
somewhat crazy) 
plans to enable "data 
sharing" between 
games - saving data 
from one game and 
using it in another. 
Ideas bandied about 
include putting saved 
games from Sim City 
into Populous, or 
flying fighters from 
Xenon over landscapes 
from Powermonger. 
Nothing whatsoever 
came of the scheme. 

■ News broke that 
Danny DeVito had 
been picked to star 
in a live-action movie 
based on the Super 
Mario Bros games, 
the first Hollywood 
effort ever based 

on a game character. 
"We look forward 
to the challenge of 
bringing Mario and 
Luigi to life, while 
being true to the spirit 
of their world," the 
producers said, before 
creating a film that 
made Luigi a clean- 
shaven hunk, turned 
Yoshi into a disgusting 
brown chicken, and - 
even with Bob Hoskins 
as Mario - flopped like 
a dying fish. 

■ Plans to introduce a 
rival to the Game Boy 
were revealed by 
Cheetah, a company 
best known for its 8- 

| Also going on this month- 


■ Actually, we all really like this cover. It's a 
shame Robo has as much chance of making 
a comeback as Culture Club. Oh, hang on. 

bit joysticks. Named 
the (ahem) Gamate, it 
was a cut-down, black 
and white, blurry 
screened, erm. Game 
Boy. It launched with 
games like Enchanted 
Bricks (a Breakout 
clone) and Witty (a 
platform game). And 
it was shit. 

■ The January CES 
show in Las Vegas saw 
Commodore reveal its 
CD-TV, an ill-fated 
attempt to shove a 
CD-ROM drive into an 
Amiga. Promoted with 
the usual early-'90s 
"Look! It's on CD!" 
assortment of crap 

multimedia titles and 
interactive movie 
rubbish, it bombed. 
A few years later. 
Commodore tried 
again with the games- 
based CD32. Further 
bombing occurred. 

■ Domark's deal with 
coin-op manufacturer 
Tengen led to some 
embarrassing home 
conversions of speedy 
arcade polygon-shifter 
STUN Runner. The 
coin-op had a sleek 
space-age vehicle that 
sped phenomenally 
fast through futuristic 
tunnels. The home 
versions had tunnels. 

Gallup All 
Penmate Top 10 

1 (NE) Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles 

Imageworks (Spec/Ams) 

2 (1) Paperboy 

Encore (all formats) 
Out Run Kixx (all formats) 

jga Top 10 

F-19 Stealth Fighter 





Guardian Angel 

Codemasters (all formats) 

Quattro Adventure 

Codemasters (8-bits) 

6 (3) Target Renegade 

Hit Squad (8-bits) 

7 (NE) Wonderboy 

Hit Squad (8-bits) 

8 (8) Run the Gauntlet 

Hit Squad (8-bits) 
9(13) R-Type Hit Squad (8-bits) 
10 (12) Quattro Arcade 

Codemasters (8-bits) 

Treasure Island Dizzy 


3(NE) Lotus Turbo Esprit 

Challenge Gremlin 

Kick Off 2 Anco 

Golden Axe Virgin 

Targhan Action 16 

Wheels of Fire Domark 

Power Pack 8eau Jolly 







Advanced Fruit Machine 
Simulator Codemasters 
10 (NE) Gremlins II Elite 


Publisher: Ocean 
System: Spectrum 
■ By 1991, the 8-bit machines 
were on their iast legs, but 
they were still capable of 
chucking up the odd treat. This 
interpretation of the bubble- 
busting coin-op classic was 
described by Jonathan Davies 
in Your Sinclair as "an absolute 
apricot of a game." You see? 
He was always like this. 

Robocop 2 

Publisher: Ocean 
Systems: Amiga/ Atari ST 

■ At times it seemed Ocean 
was happy to re-use the same 
side-scrolling platform/shooter 
style for every title. Journalists 
got very worked up about it. 
But they forgave Robocop 2, 
perhaps because it was a real 
visual treat and pleasingly 
difficult. Hasta la vista, baby! Or 
whatever it was he said. ' 

Team Suzuki 

Publisher: Gremlin 
System: Atari ST 
■ This motorcycle racer was 
fast, smooth and felt realistic, 
but demonstrates exactly how 
far we've progressed since 
1991. The 3D bikes were made 
up of about seven polygons 
each, and looked like toasters 
on wheels. It played sort of 
OK though. Oh, who are we 
kidding? It was crap. 

January | 1 999 1 Arcade 1 175 


jHir' 3 - M 1 1111 

Next Month 

In February's 



But gaming sometimes offers even more repulsive treats 
than a date with a snap-necked zombie. Next month we 
reveal the 50 most wince-inducing, leg-crossing moments 
ever. Spines are ripped, bums are fried. It's horrible. 

We report on Dreamcast's launch in Japan, test the very first machines 
into the UK, and talk to the some of the first British owners about 
what they think of their hot new kit. Should you buy one? We'll see... 


We review the first batch of games, including Virtua Fighter 
Tournament Battle, Godzilla Generations and Sega Rally 2. 

The usual 40something pages of reviews, the full-length return of 
Coming Soon, Tomb Raider III makes its first Kick Ass appearance, a 
tribute to Ze/da-creator Shigeru Miyamoto, and more. 

Arcade 3 on sale Wednesday, 
13 January. Order your copy now. 

January! 1 999 1 Arcade 1 177 

Great Gaming Moments 

m ^j m| Remembered by I Neil West 

Ihcking the Traps 

Doom II leaches that standing around dohg nothing can (sometimes) be a virtue. 

y the time I reached the 
"Tricks 'n' Traps" level of 
Doom II, I'd learned that 
hitting fast and early 
with maximum fire 
power was the best strategy. 
Indeed, it was the only reliable 
strategy. It didn't matter whether 
I was packing a chain saw, knuckle 
duster, double-barrelled shotgun or 
mountain-levelling rocket launcher - 
nothing got these single-minded 
alien scumbags off my back like 
wading in there and striking first. 

It was a mind-set that had got me 
through all the levels up to this one, and I 
had faith in it. But it was also a mind-set 
that would lead to me getting completely 
and utterly stuck - trapped and slaughtered 
again and again in one particularly nasty, 
inhospitable little backwater. 

Here's the scene: I would pass through a 
door and find myself at the back of a large 
underground bunker. With the entrance 

locked behind me - so I couldn't return the 
way I'd come - I was sealed in with an entire 
legion of Cyber Demons, Imps and a 
fearsome Baron of Hell for company. Okay, 
so they were at one end of the bunker and I 
was at the other - and it seemed as if they 
hadn't noticed me yet - but it was clear 
that, with no windows and no visible exits, 
the only way out would be over a blood- 
spurting heap of steaming corpses. 

So, skulking in the shadows for as long as 
possible, I'd sneak along the wall until I got 
as close as I dared and then let rip with all 
guns blazing. But no matter which of the 
monsters I attacked first, no matter what 
weapon I used, no matter how I ran, there 
were simply too many of them. The entire 
group would turn on me and under a 
barrage of fire my health would wear down 
to nothing. Dead. 

For hours I plugged away. Nothing. Had I 
missed a bonus weapon in a previous level 
that I needed now? Was there a secret 
power-up lying around that I hadn't found? 
Was this a bug in the program? Erm, a faulty 
joypad? All the usual excuses rattled around, 
but secretly I knew the truth - this was one 
puzzle I simply couldn't solve. 

And then: the faintest flicker of an idea. 

It was clear that the only way 
out would be over a blood- 
spurting heap of corpses 

■ id software's Doom is 
one of the landmark 
computer games, right 
up there with Space 
Invaders and Tetris. If 
you've never played it, 
then buy a copy now - 
it's never too late to 
catch the bug. Originally 
released on the PC back 
in 1993, with the sequel 
out the following year, 
there are now versions 
for pretty much every 
system out there. The 
original PC models of 
the game are probably 
best, and are available 
as part of the Final 
Doom compilation from 
GT Interactive, priced 
around £20. PlayStation 
gamers get the next 
best versions - indeed, 
many prefer them to 
the PC originals - and 
these are also published 
by GT Interactive at 
budget price. 

What if I waited and let them take the first 
shot? The plan didn't seem to make much 
sense, but I'd tried everything else and 
nothing had worked. So that's what I did. 
Instead of swaggering straight into battle, I 
lurked in the background and watched. And 
after a while I noticed a most extraordinary 
thing. It was as if the Baron of Hell was 
slowly being jostled into a corner by the 
others. Suddenly, an Imp let loose a fireball - 
but not aimed at me, at the Baron. He 
retaliated with a laser blast that sent three 
Imps flying. Then all hell broke loose. 

They were fighting among themselves! 
All I had to do was wait on the sidelines, 
watch the carnage, and then clean up the 
stragglers at the end. Easy. 

Soon the job was done. And then 
the joy at finally moving forward, slightly 
embarrassed at having been frustrated for 
so long, but revelling in the adrenaline rush 
of escaping one of gaming's trickiest Jjk 
traps. Truly a Great Gaming Moment. J*m 

178 1 Arcade | January 1 1999 

I Next month: Arcade 3 goes on sale Wednesday, 13 January. It's the one where we play lots of Dreamcast. Don't miss it! 

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